Acta Scientiarum: Health Sciences (2017-05-01)

Different frequencies of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on sympatho-vagal balance

  • Angélica Trevisan de Nardi,
  • Melina Hauck,
  • Ozeias Simões Franco,
  • Felipe da Silva Paulitsch,
  • Antonio Marcos Vargas da Silva,
  • Luis Ulisses Signori

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 39, no. 1
pp. 9 – 16


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This study aims to evaluate the effects of TENS at different frequencies on autonomic balance in healthy volunteers. It is a case-control study, and was composed of fourteen healthy volunteers (5 women) with 28 (3.9) years old who underwent low (10 Hz 200ms-1) and high (100 Hz 200ms-1) frequency TENS. The interventions were randomized and applied for 30 minutes in the trajectory brachial nerve plexus from non-dominant member. Intensities were adjusted every 5 minutes and maintained below motor threshold. The autonomic balance was assessed before and after interventions by heart rate variability (HRV). TENS 10 Hz increased 10% sympathetic activity and decreased 10% parasympathetic activity; however, TENS 100 Hz showed opposite effects (p < 0.05). The sympatho-vagal balance increased with low frequency TENS and decreased with high frequency (p < 0.05). It can be concluded that different frequencies of TENS applied in the trajectory brachial nerve plexus modify cardiovascular autonomic responses. High frequency TENS reduces sympathetic activity and increases the parasympathetic, which favors beneficial effects on autonomic balance in healthy volunteers.