These Brain Waves May Tame Fibromyalgia – Cranial Electrical Stimulation

By Peggy Peck

WebMD Medical News Archive Reviewed By Gary Vogin, MD

May 1, 2001 — As many as six million Americans are living with fibromyalgia, and in most cases they are living with the constant, unrelenting symptoms of the condition: widespread pain in muscles and joints, sleep disturbances, irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety, to name a few. But very positive results from a new study suggest that sending mini-currents of electricity through the brain — a procedure called cranial electrotherapy stimulation –may provide relief from some of these symptoms.

Alan S. Lichtbroun, MD, says he learned about the electrotherapy technique while searching for better treatments for his many fibromyalgia patients.

“This technique is gaining wide acceptance at chronic pain treatment centers,” says Lichtbroun, assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in East Brunswick, N.J. “At first I looked at this device very skeptically — and even now I am beginning to see some patients who had a marked response at the beginning are gradually beginning to deteriorate — so again I wondered if the machine had lost its power. But what I’ve found is that patients eventually lose their incentive to use the machine, and less frequent use appears to mean a return of symptoms.”

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