TORONTO, Aug. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Back pain, particularly neuropathic back pain can not only be very painful, but also incredibly debilitating. Affecting your ability to perform everyday activities, the symptoms associated with chronic back pain often extend beyond mere discomfort. It can also involve numbness, tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, and even issues as far as bladder and bowel control.
Such was the case with a 57 year old back pain sufferer. JA had a 15 year history of back problems. Stemming from a car accident in which he suffered a head injury, JA's pain interfered with his daily life. Undergoing back surgery in 1991, he unfortunately was not able to find any sort of permanent relief.
Acupuncture treatments are often used in cases of consistent neuropathic back pain. Targeting various key points, acupuncture used in tandem with electro current therapies, has been proven to help sufferers and ultimately ease their discomfort. In JA's case study, two forms of electro- therapies were applied while measuring stress levels: Alternating Current (AC) TENS and Direct Current (DC) MPS, the latter performed utilizing the Dolphin Neurostim a device that has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of chronic pain.
JA's baseline pain was recorded as a constant 5 out of 10 on the VAS scale. First MPS was applied to placebo points, then traditional AC TENS (applied via pads) was applied to low back acupuncture points, then lastly DC microcurrent applied by point stimulation MPS to very same low back points. Treatments lasted 30 minutes each and all data was collected over the course of a single afternoon.
The results were quite surprising. DC MPS applied to placebo points reduced cortisol (stress hormone) and nervous system stress levels, but did not decrease pain. The more traditional TENS applied to acupuncture points increased cortisol and stress levels and still did not reduce the patient's pain. Conversely, the MPS applied to active acupuncture points ultimately offered the patient "complete relief from neuropathic pain" by dramatically reducing both cortisol, STRESS levels. The implications of this technology for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain are thus hugely consequential and most definitely warrant further research.
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SOURCE Center for Pain & Stress Research