An open label pilot study investigating non-invasive high frequency peripheral nerve fibre stimulation in chronic pain.
Providing sustained and effective treatment via the peripheral nervous system for the management of chronic pain is challenging. Application of non-invasive high frequency stimulation at or near the painful area may benefit those with chronic pain. This open label pilot survey examined the impact of this stimulation on pain intensity, activities of daily living, functional capacity and medication consumption after two weeks of treatment.Stimulation was administered at home using two high frequency sinusoidal alternating signals at 3858 Hz and 3980 Hz delivered between two electrodes placed directly over one or two locations of pain. Individuals completed a survey after two weeks to assess pain, activities of daily living (ADL), pain medication consumption, quality of life (QoL), mood, sleep, functional outcomes and satisfaction.463 individuals (372 males; 91 females) retuned the completed survey after two weeks of treatment. Pain and ADL scores significantly improved at follow-up compared to baseline (pain mean difference: 3.05; 95% CI: 2.86, 3.24; ADL mean difference: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.60, 2.04). Corresponding improvements in QoL, sleep, mood, functional outcomes and satisfaction were noted. On average 8.00 ± 11.11 hours of pain relief were reported with 54% experiencing reductions in pain medication consumption. 98% would use the stimulation in the future.Two weeks of non-invasive high frequency peripheral nerve fibre stimulation appeared to confer positive effects in individuals with pain. Future research employing a control group/arm is needed to establish the long-term impact of this bioelectric technique in specific pain cohorts.