Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for chronic post-herpetic neuralgia

Int J Dermatol. 2015 Apr;54(4):476-80. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12385. Epub 2015 Jan 20.


Postherpetic neuralgia remains a therapeutic challenge for the clinician. Many modalities have been utilized with limited success. In this pilot randomized study of patients who were refractory to previous medicinal treatment, the patients were treated with transcutaneous nerve stimulation with a biofeedback capability. After every two treatments with the sham and true device, the patients were required to fill out a standard neuropathic pain scale score. The patients were allowed to select the other device after three consecutive treatments if they felt an inadequate decrease in their pain. The true device was chosen over the sham device by all patients. The majority of these patients treated by the true device reported a statistically significant decrease in pain scores (P < 0.001). Further investigation of this Food and Drug Administration, class 2 accepted, electronic device for relief of pain is warranted for patients with a history of recalcitrant postherpetic neuralgia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / therapy*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation*