Srini Nageshwar - October 2019
Pain in the extremities of the body like the arms and legs is a common and unpleasant occurrence with people suffering from Diabetes. Doctors often encourage their patients to wear shoes wherever they go, to protect their feet, because often these very subjects don't feel anything. The danger of hurting themselves is very high.
Wouldn't it be nice if one could minimize or completely eliminate this pain?
Clinical researchers performed a study on patients using two groups, a control group that was not treated and a study group that was treated with two versions of a product called First Relief (Groups A and B). A poster detailing this work was presented at the NANS symposium in Jan 2019 in Las Vegas. https://www.dyansys.com/sites/default/files/dyansys_nans_2019_poster_91_group_11.pdf
The First Relief Neurostimulator
The treatment group
Out of 40 people, 24 completed the whole series of treatments - 6 treatments in total. Of these 24 patients, 9 were not treated (part of the control group) , 7 were treated with one type of electrical stimulation while the other 8 were treated with another type of stimulation.
Picture of First Relief mounted on a patient's ear.
The results (expressed as 95% confidence intervals) Pain scores for the control group were 6.2 to 7.3 at the beginning and 5.2 to 5.7 after the 6th treatment.
For group A it was 6.6 to 8.1 at the beginning and 3.6 to 4.1 at the end.
For Group B it was 6.0 to 8.6 at the beginning and 2.7 to 3.2 at the end.
Clearly both the treatments succeeded in alleviating the pain via the treatment methodology, with Group B being superior.
There were some other remarkable aspects.
1. The treatment group did not take gabapentin or pregabalin. These γ-aminobutyric acid agents constitute the first-line therapy in relieving patients from painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
2. One of the patients had a foot ulcer which was completely cured at the end of the treatment. Subsequently the full study was completed with 63 patients and is getting ready for publication in a US peer reviewed journal.
This full study yielded another interesting insight. The pain treatment worked better on people who had good glycemic control versus those whose glycemic control left a lot to be desired.
The bottom line
There is an excellent treatment that is non-narcotic, ambulatory and minimally invasive, that can be performed in an office and goes very far in alleviating neuropathic pain in diabetic subjects. It removes the need for either gabapentin or pregabalin. Good glycemic control happens to boost the efficiency of the treatment. The neurostimulation may also help in healing wounds on the feet. On top of it all, the treatment has no side effects.
What is not to like about this?