Evidence Of Microcurrent Therapy's Effectiveness In Pain Management
A recent review of the published literature identified n=17 studies that were of sufficient quality to merit inclusion (8x RCTs; 3x case studies/case series; 2x cohort studies; 2x controlled studies; 1x cross over study and 1x retrospective analysis) [1-17]. Microcurrent Therapy was deemed effective in 13 of the 17 publications (76%), employing 95% of all trial participants (n=2335), who reported a significant effect in terms of pain relief and pain perception. The ineffective trials were references 1, 6, 7 and 17. The clinical conditions treated in these 17 studies included, 2x chronic lower back pain; 2x mixed chronic pain syndromes; 2x pain secondary to radiotherapy or cancer surgery; mixed chronic neuromuscular back and neck pain; carpal tunnel; diabetic neuropathy; chronic periodontitis; orthodontic pain and groin strain.
Since this review of the literature (2015), two additional pain relevant studies have been published, involving 118 patients with either chronic neck pain or lateral elbow tendinopathy. Both studies provided significant pain relief and are consistent with the other publications in this section. The majority of these publications reported no significant adverse or unwanted effects as a result of the application of Microcurrent Therapy. There were some reports of minor skin irritation in one publication, but it is important to note that participants in this study were wearing the device 24/7.
Overall, in relation to clinical pain issues, there is more supportive published evidence than evidence suggesting an ineffective treatment. On balance, Microcurrent based therapy has supportive evidence of effectiveness across a wide range of clinical pain presentations. The ‘stimulation' parameters from the effective studies were identified in a dose/response analysis and fell into what is now considered to be an effective range.