Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) Helps Post Spinal Cord Injury(SCI) Pain

Skin surface CES therapy is usually 2 milliamp therapy with anode over motor cortex strip (C3) (on skin) with a cathode lead on forehead. In SCI patients it resulted in significant pain relief (P<0.03 versus sham). They found the effect was “large” but did not meet the 30% improvement required for substantive improvement.

This is a modality, seldom used, but fails to die due to continued studies of effectiveness in variety of pain conditions. I have written about it before:
DC Stim Helps Spinal Damage Pain and Cranial Stim for Fibromyalgia

Surface DC Electrode Stim helps Fibromyalgia

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation in the Treatment of Pain Associated with Spinal Cord Injury: A Multisite Study.
Gabriel Tan (Michael E. DeBakey, VA Medical Center, Houston, TX), Diana Rintala,
Mark P. Jensen, Scott R. Richard, Beth Dinoff, Sally A. Holmes, Shamsi Lashgari-Saegh, Rama Parachuri, Suzanne Ruff, Patricia Banks, Elizabeth Richardson, Nadia M. Sakla, Huma Qureshy.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil Volume 90, Issue 10, Page E25 (October 2009)

  • 105 cases, paraplegia
  • neuropathic pain intensity at least 5 on 0–10 scale
  • Compared to pre treatment,  large result (P<0.001) but sham had large placebo effect too.
  • Was however better than sham (P<0.03)
  • Though effect good (effect size 0.73), was less than the 30% improvement needed for clinically meaningful improvement

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