To evaluate the effectiveness of non-invasive neuro-adaptive electrostimulation (NAE) therapy for treating chronic pain and disability in patients with fibromyalgia.
A prospective, randomized, sham-controlled study was conducted in 37 women with fibromyalgia. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either active NAE (n = 20) or stimulation with a sham device (n = 17). Participants in the experimental arm received eight 30-minute sessions over 4 weeks (2 sessions per week). The sham group received eight 30-minute sessions of sham stimulation. Therapeutic effects on pain relief, disability, and quality of life were evaluated using outcome measures at baseline, at 4 weeks, and after 3 months’ follow-up.
The findings indicated a significant reduction of pain in the active NAE group compared with the sham group immediately post-intervention, with a difference on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) of 3 points (P = .001), and at 3 months’ follow-up (P = .02). There were significant intragroup differences between the groups (P < .05) at post-intervention. After the intervention, both groups presented significant reductions on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) with respect to baseline (P = .004), but not at the 3-month follow-up. In the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) in thumb variable we found significant differences between the groups at the 3-month follow-up (P = .02). No additional benefits for conditioned pain modulation and disability were observed between groups at the 3-month follow-up. Furthermore, anxiety/depression and catastrophizing improved in both groups, but no differences between groups were found.
In this fibromyalgia cohort, NAE therapy significantly improved pain and quality of life at 4 weeks, but not at 3-month follow-up, compared with the sham stimulation group. Future investigations are needed in larger populations to confirm these findings.
Copyright © 2020 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.