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Research Abstracts

 

Smith, Ray B. Is microcurrent stimulation effective in pain management? An additional perspective. American Journal of Pain Management, 11(2):62-66, 2001.


This is a peer-reviewed analysis of 2,500 consecutive survey forms from warranty cards completed by patients who were prescribed Alpha-Stim microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) and cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). The only inclusion criteria were that the patients used their Alpha-Stim for at least 3 weeks. 1,949, or 78% of the total listed pain as their primary diagnosis. Of those, 93% claimed significant pain reduction of greater than 25% improvement, ranging from a low of 82% in chronic regional pain syndrome (RSD) to a high of 98% in those suffering from migraine headaches and 100% in carpal tunnel syndrome.  72% of the patients were female. The age ranged from 15 to 92 years with a mean of 50 years. The length of use ranged from the 3 week minimum cutoff period to 5 years in 2 cases. The average period of use was 14.68 weeks, or just over 3 1/2 months. The results reported by these patients were only 2% off a previous physician survey of 500 patients (the patients self-reports giving slightly higher ratings overall) reported in the book, The Science behind Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation by Dr. Daniel L. Kirsch.


Condition

N

Slight
<24%

Fair
25-49%

Moderate
50-74%

Marked
75-100%

Significant
>25%

Pain (all cases)

1949

136
6.98%

623
31.97%

741
38.02%

449
23.04%

1813
93.02%

Back Pain

403

20
4.96%

109
27.05%

157
38.96%

117
29.03%

383
95.04%

Cervical Pain

265

18
6.79%

69
26.04%

125
47.17%

53
20.00%

247
93.21%

Hip/Leg/Foot Pain

160

6
3.75%

43
26.88%

53
33.13%

58
36.25%

154
96.25%

Shoulder/Arm/Hand Pain

150

13
8.67%

41
27.33%

63
42.00%

33
22.00%

137
91.33%

Carpal Tunnel

25

0
0.00%

5
20.00%

17
68.00%

3
12.00%

25
100.00%

Arthritis Pain

188

11
5.85%

51
27.13%

88
46.81%

38
20.21%

177
94.15%

TMJ Pain

158

17
10.76%

60
37.97%

60
37.97%

21
13.29%

141
89.24%

Myofascial Pain

62

6
9.68%

18
29.03%

18
29.03%

20
32.26%

56
90.32%

RSD

55

10
18.18%

16
29.09%

19
34.55%

10
18.18%

45
81.82%

Fibromyalgia (alone)

142

13
9.15%

53
37.32%

52
36.62%

24
16.90%

129
90.85%

Fibromyalgia (with other)

363

33
9.09%

131
36.09%

152
41.87%

47
12.95%

330
90.91%

Migraine

118

2
1.69%

49
41.53%

30
25.42%

37
31.36%

116
98.31%

Headaches (all other)

112

20
17.86%

30
26.79%

24
21.43%

38
33.93%

92
82.14%

Psychological (all cases)

723

61
8.44%

175
24.20%

237
32.78%

250
34.58%

662
91.56%

Anxiety (alone)

128

13
10.16%

29
22.66%

42
32.81%

44
34.38%

115
89.84%

Anxiety (with other)

370

33
8.92%

85
22.97%

122
32.97%

130
35.14%

337
91.08%

Anxiety/Depression

58

3
5.17%

19
32.76%

19
32.76%

17
29.31%

55
94.83%

Depression (alone)

53

7
13.21%

11
20.75%

23
43.40%

12
22.64%

46
86.79%

Depression (with other)

265

29
10.94%

61
23.02%

93
35.09%

82
30.94%

236
89.06%

Stress

123

6
4.88%

30
24.39%

39
31.71%

48
39.02%

117
95.12%

Chronic Fatigue

50

3
6.00%

30
60.00%

10
20.00%

7
14.00%

47
94.00%

Insomnia

163

10
6.13%

47
28.83%

47
28.83%

59
36.20%

153
93.87%

Figure 1. Self-reported results of 2,500 patients who used Alpha-Stim technology for at least 3 weeks.


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