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High Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation Relieves Pain

High frequency SCS was reportedly twice as effective low frequency treatment.

A recent study has discovered that high frequency spinal cord stimulation relieves pain in patients with chronic pain in their back or limbs twice as effectively than the traditional low frequency treatment. The findings could provide a relief for those with daily sores and difficulty moving.

The usual treatment might be soon shifted, though the method will remain the same. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a form of managing pain via implant, where a small device is surgically placed underneath the patient’s skin in order to relieve chronic pain in the torso or limbs. The implant then sends low frequency SCS, between 40 and 60 Hz, in order to treat and relieve the unbearable aches.

However, recent findings have come to the conclusion that high frequency SCS (otherwise known as HF10) will prove to be more effective, by turning the device to deliver pulses up to 10,000 Hz, which is around 200 times stronger than previous methods.

Researchers gathered a number of 171 patients, who suffered from chronic pain in their back and limbs, in order to better understand the effectiveness in change of treatment. All patients already had an SCS device implanted, so the adjustments were made accordingly to the findings, meaning that 90 received high frequency treatment, while the rest of 81 remained at the previous standard.

According to Dr. Leonardo Kapural, a professor of anesthesiology, this was the first time the two treatments were offered at the same time and studied for differences. And the results proved that the modification was highly effective only after three months.

Out of the patients receiving high frequency SCS treatment, 83% of those with chronic leg pain and 85% of the patients with back pain felt much better, stating that their aches have seen an improvement of at least 50%. Meanwhile, only 56% of the participants with leg pain and 44% of those with back pain undergoing low frequency SCS treatment reported the same progress.

Over the course of one year, it was reported that 55% of the patients treated with high frequency SCS had declared themselves fully satisfied and their chronic pains definitively lessened, while only 32% of those receiving the traditional treatment claimed the same.

Furthermore, those undergoing the HF10 treatment also reported a complete lack of parathesia, a common side effect of SCS implants that can cause uncomfortable tingling or buzzing sensation. It can reduce the effectiveness in SCS, but patients who had picked high frequency treatment recorded none.

It can be quite a giant leap forward in the field of reducing chronic pains, with no risks, and twice the benefits for patients who have to live daily with excruciating aches in their limbs or back that drugs cannot ease.

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