Device Sends Electrical Pulses, Relief to Fibromyalgia Patients
A study from two University of Virginia nursing professors finds electrical zaps can improve life for people with chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Ann Gill Taylor and Joel Anderson tested an Alpha-Stim device on nearly 60 people. Clamps from the device hook to the earlobes and provide a small electrical pulse that's enough to change brain activity.
The treatment reduced pain and fatigue and improved quality of life for fibromyalgia patients compared to only using traditional drug therapies.
"We never take away conventional therapies. It's always additive to what these patients would be taking," Taylor said.
"The pharmacological treatments only work about half the time maybe in some patients. So, fibromyalgia patients are always looking for new ways they can improve their symptoms," Anderson said.
Study participants used the cellphone-sized device an hour a day for eight weeks. The professors hope to expand the trial to more patients.
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