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
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
Comment – a good add-on but not good enough by self. Could reduce needs for other drugs and hence reduce side effects.