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Electrical nerve stimulation may relieve neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury

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A new study has revealed that electrical nerve stimulation can effectively reduce neuropathic pain following a spinal cord injury.

Neuropathic pain is often difficult to relieve and usually managed with drugs such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants.

In the new study, researchers assessed the short-term effects of high- and low-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on neuropathic pain following SCI.

The participants were instructed to treat themselves three times daily for two weeks. After a two-weeks, patients switched stimulation frequencies and repeated the procedure.

They found that 29 percent of patients reported a favourable effect from high-frequency TENS and 38 percent from low-frequency stimulation.

Twenty-five percent of the patients were, at their request, prescribed TENS stimulators for further treatment at the end of the study.

The researchers suggest that existing studies have shown that TENS may be an effective complement to the pharmacological approach to neuropathic pain management in patients with SCI.

The study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development.



  1. This may be a new study, but it verifies studies begun in 1979-1981 and continuing. I have been using a TENS for this purpose since 1985. It was a very new and controversial idea back then. It was based upon the radar jamming systems we worked on in the Air Force. When used with a specific kind of electrode, small and more precise than those used for the muscles, at the point of impingement, it helps to reduce spasms and pain.

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