A new addition to the treatment armamentarium for chronic back and leg pain may be on the horizon, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Results of a study published in the online first edition of Anesthesiology report that patients who received a novel high frequency form of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy experienced significantly greater, long-term relief for both of these chronic pain conditions, when compared to a traditional low frequency form of SCS therapy. The new treatment, called HF10™ therapy, uses proprietary high frequency pulses of 10,000 Hz, compared to traditional SCS which uses frequencies of 40 to 60 Hz. HF10 therapy also provides pain relief without the paresthesia (a stimulation-induced sensation commonly perceived as tingling or buzzing) that masks a patient’s perception of pain, which is typical of traditional SCS.
SCS implantation has become an increasingly popular therapeutic option for patients with chronic pain who would otherwise be treated surgically or with opioid medication. But the acceptability of traditional low frequency SCS is compromised by the discomfort produced by the buzzing sensations of paresthesia. In the new study 171 patients with chronic back or leg were implanted at 10 comprehensive pain treatment centers. Of these, 90 patients received HF10 therapy, while 81 patients had traditional SCS. The researchers noted a 50% or greater reduction in reported pain at 3 months postprocedure in over 80% of both back and leg pain sufferers who underwent HF10 therapy. None of the group members reported sensations of paresthesia.
Read more about this therapeutic alternative here.
The online journal abstract may be read here.