Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation offers partial relief in notalgia paresthetica patients with a relevant spinal pathology

Ekin Savk, Oner Savk, Faruk Sendur
Journal of Dermatology 2007, 34 (5): 315-9
There is yet no established mode of curative treatment for notalgia paresthetica (NP). We had previously shown a correlation of NP localization with relevant spinal changes which led us to speculate on the possible role of spinal nerve impingement in the pathogenesis of this entity. Based on these findings we aimed to investigate the possible effect of physical therapy in selected cases of NP. Fifteen NP patients with a relevant spinal pathology (four men and 11 women) were included in the study. The mean age was 52.80 +/- 8.83 years (+/- SD; range, 39-73). NP duration was 8.9 +/- 8.13 years (range, 1.5-30). All patients received 10 conventional transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) sessions in the symptomatic area of 20 min duration and high frequency (50-100 Hz). From an initial pruritus score of 10, the mean score by the end of first week was 7.67 +/- 2.02 (range, 5-10) and by the end of second week it was 6.80 +/- 2.73 (range, 4-11). The differences between the pretreatment and post-treatment scores were statistically significant. There was no correlation of therapeutic benefit with age or disease duration. We believe that the partial therapeutic benefit of TENS in NP patients is of importance and further research on the effects of various physical therapeutic modalities would be worthwhile.

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