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High-frequency spinal cord stimulation relieves chronic back, leg pain

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%.

Cody Griffin, Rapid News Network, Jul 29, 2015

Spinal cord stimulation is a simple procedure which utilizes a small device implanted under the skin to send electric pulses through the nerve.

Leg and back pain have always been hard to treat, and many doctors resort to opiod prescriptions that often have adverse side effects.

In the new treatment called as HF10T therapy, high frequency pulses of 10,000 Hz are used as compared to traditional SCS which uses frequencies of 40 to 60 Hz. Paresthesia, a widespread known process, which is not caused from low-frequency SCS, is common from high-frequency SCS which in turn does not bring any painful tingling or buzzing. The efficiency achieved through high-frequency spinal cord stimulation has showed twice the result through the usual low frequency stimulation for the relief of chronic back pain.

A brand new study could spell incredible relief for chronic back pain and leg pain; and the discovery is quite simple.

Usually, these sensations are uncomfortable to patients and limit the utility and acceptance of traditional devices. Identifying a new intervention that does not rely on paresthesia to mask pain is novel to SCS and has the potential to improve pain relief and quality of life for these complex patients. This is good because, not only does it make the process more pleasant for the patient, but patesthesia can also interfere with how well the treatment works at treating pain.

In the study, researchers examined 171 patients with chronic back or leg pain who were implanted at 10 comprehensive pain treatment centers. Overall, 90 of them received high-frequency treatments, where 81 of them continued with more traditional methods. That is, the higher the energy the more effective it is at treating pain. Conversely, only 44 percent of back pain and 56 percent of leg pain patients in the traditional SCS group experienced a 50 percent reduction in pain.

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.

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