Monthly Archives: October 2015

Microcurrent Electrical Therapy and Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation for Pain Control

Kulkarni, Arun D. and Smith, Ray B. The Use of Microcurrent Electrical Therapy and Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation in Pain Control.  Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine. 2(2):99-102, 20-1.

This open clinical study, conducted by Dr. Kulkarni, an anesthesiologist working with orthopedic surgeons at a pain clinic at Nav-Durga hospital near Bombay, India, was designed to assess the effectiveness of Alpha-Stim microcurrent electrical therapy (MET), cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) or a combination of both therapies. 20 patients who had been refractory to previous treatments completed informed consent and joined the study in the order that they presented at the first author’s hospital pain clinic. Ages ranged from 30 to 75 years (mean=44). 15 were females. Treatments were provided for one hour daily, Monday through Friday, for 3 weeks. No pain medications were taken during the study period. MET was given via probes or self-adhesive electrodes at 600 microamperes, while the current for CES was regulated by each patient, ranging from 100 to 300 microamperes. Pain was scored on an 11 point self rating VAS scale, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the most intense pain they had experienced to date.

Nine patients (45%) left the study early following reduction of their pain to a level between 0 and 1.5 on the 11 point scale. One had complete remission of her pain after only 2 treatments. Of 3 patients who received no relief, none returned for the final week of treatment. 7 patients (35%) who were treated with CES plus self-adhesive electrodes began at an average pain level of 7.7 (range 5-10) and ended with an average of 3.7 (range 0-10), or a 52% reduction in pain from an average of 12 days of treatment. 7 patients who were treated with CES plus probes fared even better beginning with a pain level of 7.1 (range 4-8) and ending at an average of 1.1 (range 1-6), or an 85% reduction of pain from an average of 8.1 days of treatment. 5 patients (25%) were treated with CES only. They experienced an average of 50% drop in their pain level from 4.4 (range 3-7) to 2.2 (range 0.5-5) with an average of 10.6 days of treatment. No negative side effects were reported. The authors concluded that MET and CES are effective treatments for chronic pain patients.

Table 1. Subject Characteristics, Treatment Parameters and Treatment Outcome
Pt Sex Age Type of Pain and Duration Nr.
Rx Given* Pre-
1 F 30 Bilateral scapular, 5 yrs 15 C,A 7 0 100%
2 F 30 Radiating, neck to hand, 10 yrs 15 C,A 8 1 88%
3 F 62 Rheum. arth., bilateral, knees, 4 months 5 C,P 8 0 100%
4 F 40 Low back pain, 7 yrs 15 C 3 2 35%
5 F 35 Radiating pain, C7 to right arm, 6 yrs 12 C,P 8 0 100%
6 M 41 Back pain, T8, 1 year 10 C,A 5 1 80%
7 F 30 L3 & L4 pain, 6 yrs 12 C,A 8 0 100%
8 F 46 Low back, 2 yrs, both knees, 1 yr 10 C 6 3 50%
9 M 52 Ankilosing spondilosis, 10 yrs, rheum. arth. 10 C,A 8 7 13%
10 M 40 Back pain, 4 yrs 15 C,P 7 0 100%
11 F 48 Fibromyalgia, 1 yr 10 C 5 0.5 90%
12 F 41 Fibromyalgia, 3 yrs 8 C 5 0.5 90%
13 F 31 Rheumatoid arth., rt leg to toe, 5 months 10 C,P 4 1.5 63%
14 M 75 Low back, knee, 7 yrs 10 C 5 5 0%
15 F 40 Pain, left heel, 1 yr 10 P 6 6 0%
16 F 65 Sciatica, 3 yrs 8 C,P 7 6 14%
17 F 42 Rt knee pain, stiffness, 7 months 2 C,P 8 0 100%
18 F 42 Cervical spondilosis, 2 yrs 15 C,A 8 7 13%
19 M 44 Cervical spondilosis, 2 months 5 C,P 8 0.5 94%
20 F 44 Bilateral knee, osteo-arthritis, 4 yrs 7 C,A 10 10 0%
*P = Probes; C = CES; A = Self Adhesive Pads
** 10 Point VAS Scale

Is CES Ultra Safe?

CES has an excellent safety record. Published literature in the U.S. and abroad, reports virtually no negative side effects or major contraindications from its use. The National Research Council has deemed CES to be “a non-significant risk modality.”

Because the only source of current for CES Ultra is a common nine-volt battery, its intensity is limited to 1.5 milliamps – what you would use to operate a small toy or penlight. Even the unit&##9;s maximum intensity has been shown to be safe.

Are there any contraindications or side effects?

Hundreds of CES units have been and are used in hospitals and clinics, and thousands have been in use by patients in their homes for more than 38 years. No major side effect has been noted or called in to physicians or the FDA from units similar to the CES Ultra device. There are no known contraindications for use of CES.

There are, however, circumstances in which its safety has not been tested. CES should not be used without on-going clinical supervision by severe depressives, epileptics, those known to be pregnant, or by individuals with implanted electronic devices such as cardiac pacemakers or insulin pumps.

The induced relaxation response resulting from use of CES does not in any way impair reaction time. It is recommended, however, that CES not be used while operating dangerous or complex equipment or while driving. Less than three percent of CES users report a slight headache. This is usually alleviated by simply turning down the current. If the headache recurs during ordinary use, cease using the unit and consult with your healthcare provider.

In 1976 the U.S. National Research Council studied CES at FDA’s request. They determined that no significant risk could be involved in putting such small amounts of current through the head, even over time.

As with the use of any medical device, the physician/licensed practitioner should be informed of any medication or neurotransmitter blockers the patient is taking as well as the employment of cardiac pacemakers or other electronic devices as mentioned above. CES is not a substitute for professional counseling, meditation, or constructive relationships. Used in conjunction with those efforts, CES assists you in attaining a balanced emotional state.

Read more – CES Ultra FAQs