Transcranial Direct Stimulation Post SCI Pain

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Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) ability to relieve pain has been studied previously; However, it’s mechanism is still not completely understood. It is believed to play a role through its modulatory affect on the central pathways targeted by antidepressants (Knechtel et al. 2013).

Table 15: Transcranial Direct Stimulation Post-SCI Pain


Despite the fact that tDCS is a relatively new treatment for post-SCI pain, several studies have been published. Three studies suggest there is a time effect of tDCS on reducing pain post SCI (Fregni et al 2006; Kumru et al. 2013; Yoon et al. 2014). Ngernyan et al (2015) found that active tDCS was more effective in reducing pain intensity compared to sham treatment. However, Fregni et al. (2006) and Yoon et al. 2014) found no such group effect. Soler et al. (2010) found that participants in the combined tDCS and visual illusion group had greater reduction in pain intensity then either the visual illusion group alone or the sham group.


There is conflicting evidence (from randomized controlled trials; Fregni et al. 2006; Ngernyan et al. 2015; Soler et al. 2010; Wrigley et al. 2013) for the benefits of transcranial direct current stimulation in reducing post-SCI pain.

  • Transcranial direct current stimulation may be effective in reducing post SCI neuropathic pain.