Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2021 , Vol 67 , Num 1

Inhibitory effects of biofeedback electrostimulation therapy on pain and cortisol levels in chronic neuropathic pain: A randomized-controlled trial

Marzida Mansor 1 ,Zhi Shan Lee 1 ,Loh-Pui San 1 ,Mee Mei Ng 1 ,Nazeh Al-Abd 1 ,Mustafa Kassim 1
1 Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2021.4672 Objectives: This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of biofeedback electrostimulation therapy (BEST) in chronic neuropathic pain and to evaluate changes in perceived level of pain and level of blood cortisol before and after treatment.

Patients and methods: This single-blind, prospective, randomized-controlled study included a total of 20 patients (8 males, 12 females; mean age: 53.5±13.8; range, 31 to 82 years) with chronic neuropathic pain between January 2014 and June 2014. The patients were randomized to BEST (n=10) or placebo (n=10) group. Pain was measured using the Visual Analog Scale, and serum cortisol levels were measured before and after treatment.

Results: There was no significant difference in the baseline demographics, diagnosis, and treatment modalities between the groups. Approximately 50% patients in the treatment group reported that the treatment was effective, compared to 30% in the placebo group. Pain score reduction after treatment in the BEST group was significant (p<0.05), while it was not significant in the placebo group (p=0.4). Cortisol levels significantly reduced only in the BEST group after treatment (p=0.013).

Conclusion: The BEST yields reduction in pain severity and cortisol levels. Based on these results, it seems to be effective in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain after a single treatment and may be more effective for long-term management. Keywords : Biofeedback electrostimulation therapy, cortisol, neuropathic, pain