Tag Archives: Chronic Pain

CES as an effective treatment for pain

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, which has been in use around the world since the early 1950s is an FDA recognized treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.  Many patients and their physicians have also discovered that it is a very effective treatment for pain.

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It has been theorized that CES is effective in pain treatment because it is known to relieve stress, and stress is known to be a strong correlate of the perception of pain in pain patients.

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Recently it has been shown that pain is also a frequent accompaniment of depression, which CES is known to treat very effectively. In one study more than 75% of patients being treated for depression reported experiencing chronic, or recurring pain, and 30% to 60% of pain patients studied, also reported significant depression.

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Presented by cesultra.com

CES has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormones

There are numerous CES studies in which CES has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormones in the body. Usually this reduction is found to be in connection with a rebalanced relationship between stress related hormones and other hormones with which they are normally in balance in non stress states.

For example, Pozos and his team found that CES could bring back into homeostatic balance the neurotransmitter dopamine that had been deliberately thrown out of balance in an animal preparation, thus removing Parkinson like symptoms that he had induced with the imbalance earlier.

Gold and his coworkers found that CES could bring back into homeostatic balance the endorphin-norepinephrine system in the brains of withdrawing human addicts, thus eliminating the major stress of the drug abstinence syndrome.

Similar results were found in an animal preparation by Dougherty and his coworkers at the University of Texas.

Shealy studied stress hormones specifically in a group of 164 patients who were severely depressed and found abnormal levels of melatonin, norepinephrine, beta-endorphin, serotonin and cholinesterase ranging widely throughout the group.

Since similarly depressed patients had routinely responded well to CES in the past, he selected another group of 37 chronic pain patients whose pain was nonresponsive to usual treatments, and who were also depressed. He studied their stress hormone levels before and following CES treatment. He found pre-post changes in serotonin, beta-endorphin, norepinephrine and cholinesterase in the patients following stimulation with CES, 20 minutes a day for two weeks. Forty-four percent of the chronic pain patients reported significant improvement in their pain and required no additional treatment. The depressed patients reported 50% clinical improvement in their depression, often bringing them back within the normal range.

In searching for the mechanism with which CES induced these changes, Shealy studied the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) vs. blood plasma in 10 normal subjects prior to and following 20 minutes of CES stimulation. He found changes in melatonin, serotonin, norepinephrine, beta-endorphin and cholinesterase in both the CSF and blood plasma, but with greater changes in the blood plasma, in each instance. He concluded that CES activated a hypothalamic response that resulted in a body-wide change in the levels of those stress realted biochemicals.

While inflammation was not measured in the above studies, in so far as stress hormones can engender the inflammation response CES could be inferred to be a significant treatment in reducing inflammation in the body, along with the myriad medical pathologies that accompany it.

As a typical follow on to stress engendered inflammation, Ware notes that psychological stress and depression have been established as important risk factors for coronary heart disease, while Cassels found that approximately 30% of adults with diabetes have comorbid depression, which is associated with poor metabolic control, more complications, increased healthcare use and costs, reduced quality of life, greater disability and lost productivity, and higher mortality rates.

CES vs. drugs in the treatment of chronic pain

Many primary care physicians are stymied and frustrated by the challenge of treating chronic pain. In particular, they face patients with bona fide pain but who also have depression, anxiety, insomnia and substance abuse. With regards to treatment interventions, they are damned if the do and damned if the don’t offer treatment with various classes of analgesic medications, including narcotic medications. They are particularly afraid of the increasing fatalities occurring with the use of narcotic analgesic medications in combination with benzodiazepines and antidepressant medications. They welcome alternatives to medications for those patients whose emotional distress intensifies their suffering and pain sensation. CES could provide a safe alternative for them that do not currently exist.

Excerpts from “A View from the Trenches” written by Jason Worchel, M.D.

More CES Research – http://www.cesultra.com/research-resources.htm

CES can potentiate the effects of analgesics

Finally, noting that CES is apparently an effective treatment for pain, several studies have been done to assess its potential to potentiate the effects of analgesics. One anesthetist gave 90 urological patients and 30 abdominal surgery patients N2O (nitrous oxide) in concentrations of 75%, 62.5%, or 50% alone, or in combination with CES during surgery. After 20 minutes patients were given a painful stimulation with Kocker clamps on their inner thigh for one minute. It was found that CES increased the potency of all three levels of N2O by 37%.

In a more elaborate study, 50 patients underwent urological operations with anesthesia induced with doperidol, diazepan, and pancuronium. Half the patients also were given CES treatment during the surgery. Anesthesia was maintained as necessary throughout the surgery by an IV fentanyl drip. Those patients receiving CES required an average of 33% less fentanyl to maintain anesthesia than did those who were not receiving CES.

It was found in both of the above two studies, that analgesia was maintained for a longer period following surgery among those patients receiving CES, than among those who did not.

World events can increase the level of pain in chronic pain patients

More dramatically, following the terrorists’ bombing of New York skyscrapers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., it was found that the level of pain in chronic pain patients being treated in three widely dispersed sites in the U.S. increased 17% in male patients and 47% in female patients when the bombing occurred between pain clinic visits. Subsequent visits to the same pain clinics showed that there was a lag in pain response to treatment following that stressful event, with men improving only 3% on subsequent treatment visits and women still suffering 34% more pain on subsequent treatment visits than they did prior to the stressful event. (The authors noted that females are known to respond more dramatically to stress related pain, such as in the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than do males.)