Peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP) is defined as the neuropathic pain that arises either acutely or in the chronic phase of a lesion or disease affecting the peripheral nervous system. PNP is associated with a remarkable disease burden, and there is an increasing demand for new therapies to be used in isolation or combination with currently available treatments. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the current evidence, derived from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assess non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of PNP.
After a systematic Medline search, we identified 18 papers eligible to be included.
The currently best available evidence (level II of evidence) exist for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In particular, spinal cord stimulation as adjuvant to conventional medical treatment can be effectively used for the management of patients with refractory pain. Similarly, adjuvant repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex is effective in reducing the overall pain intensity, whereas adjuvant static magnetic field therapy can lead to a significant decrease in exercise-induced pain. Weaker evidence (level III of evidence) exists for the use of acupuncture as a monotherapy and neurofeedback, either as an add-on or a monotherapy approach, for treatment of painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy CONCLUSIONS: Future RCTs should be conducted to shed more light in the use of non-pharmacological approaches in patients with PNP.