Transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tCDS) after subacromial injections in patients with subacromial pain syndrome: a randomized controlled pilot study
Larrivée, Samuel; Balg, Frédéric; Léonard, Guillaume; Bédard, Sonia; Tousignant, Michel; Boissy, Patrick
SubjectSubacromial pain syndrome
Background: Subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS) is a common complaint in orthopaedics. Subacromial corticosteroid injections (CSI) can relieve pain in the short term. Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) has been used for symptomatic pain relief in a variety of chronic pain conditions. The aim of this pilot study was to assess whether the application a-tDCS could enhance the symptomatic relief provided by CSI in patients affected by SAPS. Methods: Thirty-eight participants (18 to 65-year-old) suffering from SAPS were recruited to have a CSI and randomly allocated to receive, 1 weeks post CSI, real a-tDCS (r-tDCS), sham tDCS (s-tDCS) or no intervention (Control). Upper limb function was measured 1 week prior to the CSI, at the 2- and 4-week follow-ups using self-administered questionnaires and physical measures. Self-reported pain and activity during each day were logged by the participants using visual analog scales (VAS). Differences between groups were tested using repeated-measures ANOVAs. Results: Pain VAS and the Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation scale (SANE) showed significant improvement from baseline 2 weeks and 4 weeks after CSI in all groups (p < 0.05). There were no significant group X time interaction 2 weeks following tDCS treatment in any of the variables. Conclusion: All groups showed significant improvement in pain VAS and SANE scores following the CSI. One session of a-tDCS treatment 2 weeks following CSI did not result in any additive or potentializing effects when compared to a s-tDCS or a control group.
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