Treatment of Postherpetic Pain With Scrambler Therapy, a Patient-Specific Neurocutaneous Electrical Stimulation Device

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2018 May;35(5):812-813. doi: 10.1177/1049909113494002. Epub 2013 Jul 8.


Objectives: Postherpetic neuropathy (PHN) is common, severe, and often refractory to treatment. We treated 10 patients with refractory PHN using Scrambler therapy, a neurocutaneous stimulation device that delivers "nonpain" information with surface electrodes.

Methods: Scrambler therapy was given as 30-minute sessions daily for 10 days. Pain was recorded before and after treatment. Two centers.

Result: The average pain score rapidly diminished from 7.64 ± 1.46 at baseline to 0.42 ± 0.89 at 1 month, a 95% reduction, with continued relief at 2 and 3 months. Patients achieved maximum pain relief with less than 5 treatments.

Discussion: Scrambler therapy appears to have a promising effect on PHN, with prompt and continued relief and no side effects. Further research is warranted.

Keywords: devices; electrical pain stimulation; neurocutaneous pain stimulation; new therapies for pain; pain; postherpetic neuropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / therapy*
  • Pain Management / methods*