What kinds are there?
- Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS): This treatment uses small electrical pulses, delivered through the skin to nerve fibers, to cause changes in muscles (i.e., numbness or contractions). This, in turn, produces temporary pain relief. There is also evidence that TENS can activate subsets of peripheral nerve fibers that can block pain transmission at the spinal cord level. TENS has been shown to be successful as a supportive treatment for neuropathic pain.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation: In peripheral nerve stimulation, electrodes are placed surgically on a carefully selected area of the body. The patient is then able to deliver an electrical current as needed to the affected area, using an antenna and transmitter.
Looking for information on more interventional treatments? See Spinal Cord Stimulation.