Effect of Spinal Cord Stimulation on Pain Thresholds and Sensory Perception in Chronic Pain Patients

2014-07-23 21:08:52 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to better understand how the Spinal Cord Stimulator works in relieving chronic pain.

The investigators are asking subject to take part in this study because who are chronic pain patients who already have a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) in place.

The investigators hypothesize that chronic pain patients will have higher heat pain threshold, heat pain tolerance and wind-up over the painful areas with the SCS on.

QST (Quantitative Sensory Testing, a heat/cold simulation test) might be an objective helpful tool for prudent patient selection for an expensive and invasive procedure for future SCS placement.


Sixty subjects who already have an implanted SCS device for pain management at the MGH Center for Pain Medicine and other Partners affiliated pain centers will be enrolled.

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Subject is 18 years or older.

2. Subject has an SCS device implanted for at least one month for pain control. This requirement is set to ensure that the subject becomes familiarized with the therapy and has recovered from the surgical implantation of the SCS device.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Subject has neurological disease or a condition causing sensory deficit to the painful area.

2. Subject had recent therapy that may influence QST results, e.g., neuroablative procedure within two-months.

3. Subjects who are unable to travel to the study center.

It will be a one time outpatient visit study, which will include the following:

1. Brief pain history and Neurological examination

- Medical History (including medication use);

- Pain location, intensity, character and if known, etiology, duration;

- Maps of pain locations and paresthesia locations;

- Sensory neurological examination (e.g., alcohol swab, cotton swab, pinprick and vibration);

- A check on routine vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry).

2. QST will include the following:

- Warm sensation, heat pain threshold, heat pain tolerance and wind-up. A cut-off of 53°C for heat will be preset to avoid tissue damage.

- QST will be done on three areas; painful area, non-painful area with paresthesia and non-painful area without paresthesia with the SCS turned off.

- Subject will then turn on SCS and a repeat QST will be performed on the three above mentioned areas.

- QST tests will be performed in a quiet room at temperature 25º 2° C. The time and duration of the QST tests will be recorded.

QST will be performed at least 4 hours and no later than 6 hours after the last dose of long acting opioid and after last SCS on time. In this way the investigators will try to avoid recording possible end dose withdrawal and provide sufficient time for the subject to return to baseline for their SCS therapy.

Study Design

Observational Model: Case-Only, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional


Chronic Pain


MGH Center for Translational Pain Research
United States




Massachusetts General Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:08:52-0400

Clinical Trials [1755 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

PET/MRI in the Diagnosis of Chronic Pain

Several studies have implicated involvement of sigma-1 receptors (SR1s) in the generation of chronic pain, while others are investigating anti SR1 drugs for treatment of chronic pain. Usin...

Pain Responses in Patients on Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain

The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Translational Pain Research is seeking patients with chronic pain for a research study. The study is looking at the effect of opioid (narcoti...

Assessment of LTP-like Pain Amplification in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients

The present study is aimed to assess the LTP-like pain amplification in chronic low back pain patients to explore the central and peripheral effect for pain LTP.

Yoga for Veterans With CLBP

Chronic low back pain is a prevalent condition among VA patients, but many current treatment options have limited effectiveness. In addition to chronic pain, people with chronic low back ...

Our Whole Lives: Online Chronic Pain Management

This project will work to increase knowledge about the utility of a website for management of chronic pain, Our Whole Lives (OWL). It will do so by examining barriers and facilitators to p...

PubMed Articles [9530 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Development and course of chronic pain over four years in the general population: The HUNT pain study.

Epidemiological studies of chronic pain frequently report high prevalence estimates. However, there is little information about the development and natural course of chronic pain.

Health Care Utilization and Costs Associated with Pediatric Chronic Pain.

The population prevalence of pediatric chronic pain is not well characterized, in part due to lack of nationally representative data. Previous research suggests that pediatric chronic pain prolongs in...

Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults.

This review is one of a series on drugs used to treat chronic neuropathic pain. Estimates of the population prevalence of chronic pain with neuropathic components range between 6% and 10%. Current pha...

Seeking Chronic Pain Relief: A Hermeneutic Exploration.

In the United States, chronic pain is experienced by over 39.4 million adults, many of whom are treated with opioid pain medications.

Reduced endogenous pain inhibition in adolescent girls with chronic pain.

Background and aims Chronic pain is affecting a growing number of individuals including adolescents. Different endogenous pain inhibitory systems could confer protection against development of chronic...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Acute or chronic pain in the lumbar or sacral regions, which may be associated with musculo-ligamentous SPRAINS AND STRAINS; INTERVERTEBRAL DISK DISPLACEMENT; and other conditions.

Facilities providing diagnostic, therapeutic, and palliative services for patients with severe chronic pain. These may be free-standing clinics or hospital-based and serve ambulatory or inpatient populations. The approach is usually multidisciplinary. These clinics are often referred to as "acute pain services". (From Br Med Bull 1991 Jul;47(3):762-85)

Aching sensation that persists for more than a few months. It may or may not be associated with trauma or disease, and may persist after the initial injury has healed. Its localization, character, and timing are more vague than with acute pain.

Acute or chronic pain located in the posterior regions of the THORAX; LUMBOSACRAL REGION; or the adjacent regions.

A disorder with chronic or recurrent colonic symptoms without a clearcut etiology. This condition is characterized by chronic or recurrent ABDOMINAL PAIN, bloating, MUCUS in FECES, and an erratic disturbance of DEFECATION.

More From BioPortfolio on "Effect of Spinal Cord Stimulation on Pain Thresholds and Sensory Perception in Chronic Pain Patients"

Quick Search


Relevant Topics

Spinal Cord Disorders
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back which carry signals back and forth between the body and brain. It is protected by vertebrae, which are the bone disks that make up the spine. An accident that damages the verte...

An anesthesiologist (US English) or anaesthetist (British English) is a physician trained in anesthesia and perioperative medicine. Anesthesiologists are physicians who provide medical care to patients in a wide variety of (usually acute) situations. ...

Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage”. Some illnesses can be excruci...

Searches Linking to this Trial