A pilot study undertaken by researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, investigates High-Frequency Repetitive Sensory Stimulation (HF-rSS) as a possible therapeutic intervention for patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Patients with CRPS often suffer impaired tactile ability in their hands, resulting from disease related changes in the brain. The results of this study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, suggest that this intervention may be beneficial in both improving the sense of touch, and in reducing reported pain levels.
CRPS is a complex painful illness that often follows fractures or other injuries to the extremities. The pilot study was composed of 20 patients with CRPS who received a daily course of stimulation to the fingertips of the affected hand over the course of 5 days. Tactile performance and pain scale measures were taken both before and at 5 days after the end of the treatment. Significant improvement in tactile performance and less widespread improvement in pain scores were reported. The team called for additional study, and remarked in the article abstract: “Our data suggest that HF-rSS could be used as a novel approach in CRPS treatment to improve sensory loss. Longer treatment periods might be required to induce consistent pain relief.”
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Read more about the research here.
The journal article abstract may be read here.