Scrambler Therapy May Relieve Chronic Neuropathic Pain More Effectively Than Guideline-Based Drug Management: Results of a Pilot, Randomized, Controlled Trial

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 07/18/2011

In this pilot randomized trial, Scrambler therapy appeared to relieve chronic neuropathic pain better than guideline–based drug management.


  • A clinical trial with patients randomized to either guideline–based pharmacological treatment or Scrambler therapy for a cycle of 10 daily sessions was performed.
  • Patients were matched by type of pain including postsurgical neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia, or spinal canal stenosis.
  • Primary outcome was change in visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores at one month; secondary outcomes included VAS pain scores at two and three months, pain medication use, and allodynia.


  • Fifty–two patients were randomized.
  • The mean VAS pain score before treatment was 8.1 points (control) and 8.0 points (Scrambler).
  • At one month, the mean VAS score was reduced from 8.1 to 5.8 (–28%) in the control group, and from 8 to 0.7 points (–91%) in the Scrambler group (P<0.0001).
  • At two and three months, the mean pain scores in the control group were 5.7 and 5.9 points, respectively, and 1.4 and 2 points in the Scrambler group, respectively (P<0.0001).
  • More relapses were seen in polyradicular pain than monoradicular pain, but retreatment and maintenance therapy gave relief.
  • No adverse effects were observed.

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