Posted By CCF Neurosurgery MD on January 21, 1998 at 18:38:34:
In Reply to: TENS unit?? posted by Shawn Bland on January 21, 1998 at 16:26:12:
: i posted a few days ago seeking advice, but my post seems to have gotten skipped
over, all the other questions posted the same day were answered plus many that
were posted after, anyway, i have an additional question, hopefully someone will
answer me this time, my mother has CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy),
she is in sever pain right now because the nerves in her feet are re-generating,
so many medications have been tried, and they either haven't worked or she had some
reaction to them, we have been wondering if a TENS unit would help her pain,
we have heard of people with peripheral neuropathies using them and were wondering
if they were effective in easing pain associated with CIDP and nerve re-generation,
please answer us and give us some advice, we have been put off by so many doctors,
we would appreciate a response
Dear Mr Bland:
I am sorry your question was not answered in a timely fashion, however some
of the more uncommon questions require a thorough review of the literature
in order to provide the reader with accurate answers.
According to standard neurological textbooks, the treatment of choice for
CIDP is prednisone (steroid medication given orally). If prednisone
therapy fails after 3 months, another drug azathioprine is then used.
There are also reports in the neurologic literature about the use of
plasmapheresis with variable success rates to treat this condition.
Now in terms of a TENS unit. This is device which is applied externally
(to the skin) which provides mild electrical stimulation. The theory
behind this is that electrical stimulation modulates the way pain is
sensed by an injured peripheral nerve and as such in certain patients
this may prove helpful. Neurosurgeons make use of this therapeutic modality
in the conservative management of nerve injury related to spinal disorders.
You may wish to contact the section of Neuromuscular disorders at the
Cleveland Clinic for more specific information regarding CIDP. You may
reach them by calling (216) 444-2200.
Good Luck !
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