Non-invasive stimulation techniques to relieve abdominal/pelvic pain: is more always better?
Harvey, Marie-Philippe; Watier, Alain; Dufort Rouleau, Émilie; Léonard, Guillaume
Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement
SubjectTranscranial direct current stimulation
Chronic abdominal and pelvic pain is a common condition that has significant impact on quality of life, and causes billions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. Emerging data suggest that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), alone or in combination with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation TENS), could be a promising therapeutic avenue to reduce chronic pain. The encouraging results coming from these studies prompted us to try combining TENS and tDCS in 4 of our patients who suffered from chronic abdominal/pelvic pain and to compare the effect with 5 other patients who received TENS alone. Pain intensity was assessed with a visual analog scale before, during and after the stimulation. We observed that there was a slight decrease in pain which was similar in both patient groups (TENS alone and TENS combined with tDCS). These observations suggest that combining TENS and tDCS in patients suffering from chronic pelvic and/or abdominal pain produces no additional benefit, compared to TENS alone. Future studies, looking at the effect of several/consecutive TENS and tDCS sessions should be conducted.