Spinal cord stimulation is a safe, effective drug-free treatment for chronic pain

July 14, 2016, Dove Medical Press

Chronic pain affects up to 20% of people in developed countries, and represents not only a profound impact on individuals and their families but also a sizeable burden on employers, health care systems, and society in general. Now, a study published in the Journal of Pain Research finds another safe and effective drug-free treatment option for chronic pain sufferers - spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

Spinal cord stimulation, also known as dorsal column stimulation, uses low-voltage electrical stimulation to the spine to block the feeling of pain, via a small device implanted in the body. Spinal cord stimulation technologies are fast advancing, and an update of the literature was much needed. The study, authored by an Australian team, looks at recent evidence for safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of stimulation in back and limb pain.

The authors reviewed the scientific evidence from three studies looking at the different routes of spinal cord stimulation: dorsal root ganglion SCS, burst wave form SCS and high frequency 10 (HF10) SCS. They found that the literature supports the use of traditional SCS for , and provides high-quality evidence that dorsal root ganglion SCS and HF10 SCS are safe and effective for back and leg chronic pain.

Lead author Paul Verrills from the Metro Pain Group in Melbourne, Australia, thinks the study findings represent "unheralded evidence that we can safely treat back and leg pain using spinal cord stimulation techniques." Most importantly, spinal cord stimulation has relatively few side effects compared to other chronic pain therapies, and reduces the risks of complications.

Verrills goes on to say, "Spinal cord stimulation should now be considered earlier in the treatment continuum and not simply as an end-stage salvage therapy."

Explore further: New therapy delivers long-term relief for chronic back, leg pain, study finds

More information: Chantelle Sinclair et al, A review of spinal cord stimulation systems for chronic pain, Journal of Pain Research (2016). DOI: 10.2147/JPR.S108884

Related Stories

New therapy delivers long-term relief for chronic back, leg pain, study finds

July 28, 2015
Chronic back and leg pain sufferers in search of better pain relief options may have a new choice. According to a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American ...

Spinal cord stimulation feasible for diabetic neuropathy

September 30, 2014
(HealthDay)—For patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN), spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a successful treatment, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in Diabetes Care.

Delays from pain diagnosis to SCS treatment result in higher health-care use post-implantation

May 11, 2015
Winner of the William H. Sweet Young Investigators Award, Frank William Petraglia III, presented his research on the relationship between the efficacy of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to block pains signals and the amount ...

Study shows spinal cord stimulation reduces emotional aspect of chronic pain

March 17, 2016
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have shown that patients who have chronic pain can reduce their emotional response to the pain through spinal cord stimulation.

Transplant drug may provide benefits after spinal cord injury

July 8, 2016
New research in mice indicates that a drug commonly used to suppress the immune system in recipients of organ transplants may also reduce tissue damage and neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. The findings are published ...

Spinal stimulation system relieves pain without tingling

May 11, 2015
(HealthDay)—The Senza spinal cord stimulation system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic back pain without the tingling sensation that characterizes more traditional pain-relieving ...

Recommended for you

Study of protein 'trafficker' provides insight into autism and other brain disorders

September 22, 2018
In the brain, as in business, connections are everything. To maintain cellular associates, the outer surface of a neuron, its membrane, must express particular proteins—proverbial hands that reach out and greet nearby cells. ...

Breast milk may be best for premature babies' brain development

September 21, 2018
Babies born before their due date show better brain development when fed breast milk rather than formula, a study has found.

Early warning sign of psychosis detected

September 21, 2018
Brains of people at risk of psychosis exhibit a pattern that can help predict whether they will go on to develop full-fledged schizophrenia, a new Yale-led study shows. The findings could help doctors begin early intervention ...

White matter repair and traumatic brain injury

September 20, 2018
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., contributing to about 30 percent of all injury deaths, according to the CDC. TBI causes damage to both white and gray matter in the brain, ...

Gut branches of vagus nerve essential components of brain's reward and motivation system

September 20, 2018
A novel gut-to-brain neural circuit establishes the vagus nerve as an essential component of the brain system that regulates reward and motivation, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount ...

Genomic dark matter activity connects Parkinson's and psychiatric diseases

September 20, 2018
Dopamine neurons are located in the midbrain, but their tendril-like axons can branch far into the higher cortical areas, influencing how we move and how we feel. New genetic evidence has revealed that these specialized cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.