A new study revealed that high-frequency cord stimulation, is as twice as much effective than traditional methods used to treat chronic back and leg pain.
Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, is a common technique to treat this conditions. It uses a small device that is placed under the skin and delivers electric pulses to the spinal cord and extremities of the body. However, the methods used to treat chronic back pain in the past years, didn’t provide a complete relief for patients. Now, the study showed that higher-frequency SCS treatment, which pulses over 10,000 Hz, appeared to be more effective than traditional low-frequency SCS, that pulses only 40 to 60 Hz.
The investigation, published in the Journal of American Society of Anesthesiologists, divided two groups of people with chronic back and leg pain. The first group received the low-frequency SCS, and the others were implanted with a 10,000 Hz SCS method. To determine the efficiency of the treatment, the patient should at least experience a 50% reduction of the pain for him or she to be a satisfactory respondent patient.
Experts found that those treated by the traditional way, 43.8% responded positively to back pain, and 55.5% for leg pain. Meanwhile, those who received the new SCS method, 84.5% were considered as a responder for back pains, and 83.1% were marked as a responder for leg pain.
“This is the first long-term study to compare the safety and effectiveness of high frequency and traditional SCS therapy for back and leg pain,” said Dr. Leonardo Kapural, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine professor of anesthesiology. “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.”
Different studies have estimated that almost 25% of Americans have reported chronic back issued, at least once in a lifetime. Depending on the severity, and if the patient receives treatment or not, the condition can last for years and affect the daily routine of the patient.