rTMS Therapy for Neuropathic Pain

“Neuropathic” pain results from damage or dysfunction anywhere in the peripheral or central nervous system. In contrast, “normal”, typical pain refers to the irritation of the intrinsic or extrinsic nerve fibers. Often, in neuropathic pain, no cause is found. However, it should be strongly emphasized that this does not imply if pain does not exist and is “in the patient’s mind”. It could, however, be said, given its definition, that neuropathic pain is caused by some pathology of the human nervous system. Neuropathic pain occurs in up to 8% of the general population and may have numerous causes. Potential causes include diabetes mellitus (diabetic neuropathy), herpes (postherpetic neuralgia), alcoholism and neurological disorders/illnesses, such as strokes or multiple sclerosis. Neuropathic pain causes stress and often has negative emotional consequences, such as significant anxiety, depression and more. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been researched extensively and shown to have efficacy in reducing neuropathic pain, as well as the patients’ quality of life. The strength and duration of the pain-relieving effects vary from small to large, depending on the application protocols. In a one-year study, with sparse frequency of applications, the pain-relieving effects lasted up to 20 days.
rTMS is introduced as an alternative solution to treating pain, without medications. It offers the benefit of reducing the over-consumption of analgesic medications. Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with any existing pharmacological treatment in order to maximize benefits, making it an ideal option for patients who have been suffering from long-term pain and no longer respond to medications alone.

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