John Chae, MD
Richard Wilson, MD
Victoria Whitehair, MD
Nathan Makowski, PhD
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) for Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is common after stroke, and some stroke survivors do not receive relief from standard treatments. A treatment using electrical stimulation was developed and tested at the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute, which offers hope to those with chronic pain. This treatment, called Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS), involves stimulating a nerve in the shoulder with electricity to produce comfortable muscle contractions for 6 hours a day for 3-8 weeks. A MetroHealth study that compared PNS to exercise therapy found that PNS treatment was superior, and more than 60% treated with PNS experienced successful relief of pain. A multi-site randomized, controlled trial lead by rehabilitation researchers at MetroHealth is currently underway to compare PNS to exercise therapy, and to determine efficacy of the combination of PNS and exercise therapy.
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) for Muskuloskeletal Pain
PNS treatment has been studied at MetroHealth for use in other chronic pain conditions as well. PNS treatment was found to be effective for the treatment chronic shoulder pain in those with rotator cuff or shoulder impingement syndromes, with 6 of 10 subjects having improved pain 3 months after ending treatment. The first use of PNS in a person with chronic shoulder pain after spinal cord injury has also shown promise, with improvements in pain, function, and quality of life. A multi-site randomized, controlled trial controlled trial lead by rehabilitation researchers at MetroHealth is currently underway to study the effect of PNS and exercise therapy compared to exercise therapy alone.