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Non-Invasive Electroceuticals Offer Drug-Free Pain Relief

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Nov 2020
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Image: Various types of pain can be treated using the ActiPatch device (Photo courtesy of BioElectronics)
Image: Various types of pain can be treated using the ActiPatch device (Photo courtesy of BioElectronics)
A pulsed shortwave therapy (PSWT) device treats any form of musculoskeletal pain, increases physical functionality, and improves overall quality of life.

The BioElectronics (Frederick, MD, USA) ActiPatch treats various types of pain via diathermal electromagnetic energy delivered by repeated application of a PSWT signal at intensity levels too low to trigger a pain response. The signal can, however, still initiate a neural system response, as it is not only exposed to the applied signal, but also to background physiologic signals, which enhances the detection of sub-threshold stimuli. The PSWT signal is delivered at a frequency of 27.12 MHz and pulses of 1,000 times per second, which each pulse sustained for a duration of 100 μs.

The prolonged stochastic stimuli, which the brain cannot really interpret, are sufficiently large to exceed the threshold necessary to activate nerves. Since sensory nerves have a lower threshold of activation as compared to motor nerves and muscles, the low incident power is sufficient to non-deterministically modulate their activity. And as the signal is lower than the stochastic resonance threshold, the patient experiences no heat, nor any other abnormal or unpleasant sensation. The PSWT localized treatment can be used as either a standalone or adjunct therapy, depending on the condition being treated.

“Electroceutical devices can target central sensitization and are ideal for treating pain, but existing options, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, require invasive or semi-invasive use and produce uncomfortable sensations,” said the company in a press statement. “ActiPatch reduces chronic pain by mitigating nerve hypersensitivity associated with central sensitization. This means that our products can be further developed to treat disorders beyond pain such as overactive bladder.”

ActiPatch is available in three forms: a back wrap, a knee wrap, and as an adhesive which can be applied as per specifications at the site of chronic, persistent pain, such as for back pain, knee/shoulder/ankle arthritis, postoperatively after knee/spine surgeries, tendonitis, ligament injury, elbow/wrist persistent pain, plantar fasciitis, and fibromyalgia. It contains an electronics module and a wire loop that is placed around the affected area. Total usage duration is 720 hours.

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