More MS news articles for May 2001

Preliminary Data Support Use of Microcurrent Stimulation For Chronic Pain

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) May 28 - Microcurrent stimulation seems to be a highly effective treatment for patients with migraine and other types of chronic pain, according to a study of product warranty cards returned by buyers of an electrical therapy device.

While the data have obvious limitations, the findings "can offer an increased measure of confidence to those practitioners who are now prescribing microcurrent stimulation devices, or who contemplate using microcurrent stimulation technology for their pain patients in the future," Dr. Ray B. Smith writes in the April issue of the American Journal of Pain Management.

Dr. Smith, a physiological psychologist at Electromedical Products International in Mineral Wells, Texas, analyzed warranty cards that patients returned after purchasing the Alpha-Stim, a microcurrent electrical therapy device. Of 1949 patients who listed pain as their primary symptom and reported having used the device for 3 weeks or more, 93% claimed that the device significantly reduced their pain.

Reported effectiveness varied slightly by diagnosis, with 81% of patients with chronic regional pain syndrome reporting that the product was significantly effective compared with 98% of migraineurs and 100% of those with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Dr. Smith notes that a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Alpha-Stim is currently under way.

Am J Pain Manage 2001;11:64-68.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd.