People who frequently suffer from back pain or leg pain might finally find their relief with the very effective high-frequency spinal cord stimulation.
A recent study, whose findings were published in the journal Anesthesiology, proves that the new treatment is two times more effective than traditional low frequency stimulation for chronic pain in your back and legs.
SCS (spinal cord stimulation) is basically carried out by means of a small device that is inserted under the skin when the patient suffers from chronic pain in his or her trunk or in the limbs. High-frequency spinal cord stimulation provides pulses of 10,000 Hz through the implanted device. This is about 200 times higher than the traditional low-frequency treatment which only delivered 40 to 60 Hz.
High-frequency SCS, which is also called HF10, is not uncomfortable for the patient because there is no risk of parathesia, which is an abnormal, morbid sensation such as prickling or burning. This sensation could reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
According to the researchers, this is the first time the effectiveness and safety of both traditional and high-frequency spinal cord stimulation for patients who suffer from back and leg pain have been compared.
“Chronic back and leg pain have long been considered difficult to treat and current pain relief options such as opioids have limited effectiveness and commonly known side effects. Given the prevalence of chronic pain, high frequency SCS is an exciting advance for our patients,” stated Dr. Leonardo Kapural, who is a professor of anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
In order to carry out the research, the experts involved about 170 patients who suffered from back or leg pain. All of them already had a spinal cord stimulation implant. More than half of them (90 patients) benefited from treatment with high frequency SCS, while the rest carried on with their traditional low frequency SCS.
In 3 months time, most patients who were treated with HF10 felt much better. More precisely, 83 percent of the leg pain patients and 85 percent of the back pain patients felt at least a 50 percent improvement in their condition and none of them experienced parathesia.
Only 44 percent of the ones who were treated with low frequency SCS felt at least a 50 percent improvement in their pain.
After a year, more than half of the patients treated with HF10 reported they were satisfied with their treatment, while only 32 percent of the other patients were happy with low frequency SCS.
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