Efficacy of diadynamic currents in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review

Hernán Andrés de la Barra Ortiz, Cristian Jerez Cofré, Cristóbal Vera López, Ignacio Lienqueo Montecinos, Nicolás Bustos Jara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction. Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is one of the main causes of chronic pain in adults and the main reason for disability. Diadynamic currents (DDC) are described as classic electrotherapy modalities for the management of MSP, however, the available information and studies that support their use are limited. The aim of this report is therefore to describe the efficacy of DDC in the treatment of MSP. Methods. Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) were identified in the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cinahl, and Science Direct databases as of August 1, 2021. Three independent investigators reviewed the articles’ titles and abstracts to determine their eligibility, risk of bias, and quality using the Cochrane Rob2 tool and the PEDro scale. Pain reduction was considered as the main outcome and changes in the range of motion, strength, or disability/functionality as secondary outcomes. Results. Thirteen RCTs were obtained after eliminating duplicates, reviewing the titles and abstracts and applying the selection criteria. The MSP conditions included joint (n = 9) and soft tissue (n = 5) disorders. The studies had a low risk of bias and good quality, with average scores of 7 for the PEDro scale. Pain reduction was observed for DDC treatments, as well as an improvement in functionality in favour of the experimental groups (p < 0.05). Conclusions. DDC are effective in reducing MSP and improving functionality compared to other electrotherapy modalities. This review made it possible to generate dosage recommendations and establish that the best therapeutic results are achieved with combined diadynamic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPhysiotherapy Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • diadynamic current
  • electric stimulation
  • electric stimulation therapy
  • musculoskeletal diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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