diabetes

Innovative spinal cord treatment could relieve diabetic neuropathy pain

A pioneering treatment approach carried out on the spinal cord could help treat painful diabetic neuropathy, a study has suggested.

Low-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) works by delivering mild electrical pulses to the spinal cord to prevent pain signals from being transmitted to the brain.

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The safe and cost-effective approach has found to be very successful in managing chronic pain among those who suffer from neuropathic pain conditions. Now researchers think the therapy could also have a huge impact from those who have diabetic neuropathy.

A small, US study has so far shown the procedure has helped relieve pain by half and after three months, participants in the trial also reported improved lower-limb pain scores, responder rates, and sensory processes.

Diabetic neuropathy is caused by poorly managed blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can injure nerves throughout the body and diabetic neuropathy usually leads to damage in the legs and feet.

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Lead researcher Dr Erika Petersen, from the University of Arkansas School for Medical Sciences in Fayetteville, said: “These early results are encouraging for painful DN patients who are refractory to conventional care.”

The findings were unveiled at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine’s 19th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting.

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