By: 5 December 2016
High-frequency spinal cord stimulation ‘offers back and leg pain benefits’

High-frequency spinal cord stimulation may be a beneficial new treatment option for patients with severe chronic back and leg pain, new research has shown.

The research, published in Neurosurgery, evaluated 171 patients with moderate to severe back and leg pain that had persisted despite other treatments, including back surgery or opioid pain medications. One group was treated with conventional low-frequency stimulation administered over a longer period, while the other received high-frequency stimulation applied for very short spells.

The high-frequency option was shown to offer superior pain relief, with scores for back and leg pain decreasing by at least half in more than 80 per cent of patients after three months. By comparison, conventional treatment achieved similar responses in back pain for only 44 per cent of patients, or 55 per cent for those with leg pain.

Higher rates of response continued to be associated with the high-frequency treatment option after two years of therapy.

Leonardo Kapural, of the Center for Clinical Research and Carolinas Pain Institute, said: “The superior and durable results demonstrated in this study are anticipated to lead to improved long-term cost-effectiveness, making this therapy broadly available to patients suffering from chronic pain.”

Source: Axonn Media

Reference: Kapural, L., et al. Comparison of 10-kHz High-Frequency and Traditional Low-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Back and Leg Pain, Neurosurgery (2016). DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000001418