Is electrical stimulation effective in reducing neuropathic pain in patients with diabetes?

David G. Armstrong, Lawrence A. Lavery, John G. Fleischli, Karry Ann Gilham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Pulsed-dose electrical stimulation is evaluated as an analgesic modality in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Using a knitted silver-plated nylon/dacron stocking electrode, patients were given electrical stimulation over the course of 1 month. Pain was measured weekly, using a 10-cm. visual analog scale. Pain measurements at the end of the 4-week therapy and at 1 month after complete discontinuation of therapy were significantly lower than at the initiation of therapy. The results of this pilot study suggest that nocturnal doses of pulsed-electrical stimulation may be effective in alleviating subjective; burning, diabetic neuropathic pain in a population consisting of patients with grossly intact protective sensation, relatively good distal vascular perfusion and less than ideal glucose control. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first analytic report of pulsed-dose electrical nerve stimulation delivered through a stocking electrode for treatment of symptomatic diabetic neuropathy in medical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-263
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Neuropathy
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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