Contralateral antalgic effect of high-frequency transcutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation

Michelangelo Buonocore, Nereo Camuzzini, Anna Dall'Angelo, Silvia Mandrini, Elena Dalla Toffola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the analgesic effect of high-frequency transcutaneous peripheral nerve stimulation (HF-TPNS) in the ipsilateral and contralateral skin territory of the stimulated nerve. Design: Prospective, cross-over study. Setting: Clinical neurophysiology unit, institutional care, rehabilitation center. Participants: Ten healthy volunteers (5 male, 5 female). Methods: Participants underwent 3 different sessions. In the first, heat pain thresholds (HPTs) were measured on the left dorsal hand skin without stimulation; in the second and third sessions, HPTs were measured, respectively, in the territory of the left and right radial nerve before, during, and after an electrical stimulation (10 minutes, 100 Hz, 0.1 ms) of the left superficial radial nerve. Main Outcome Measurement: Heat pain threshold. Results: An increase of HPTs was observed in the skin territory of both right and left radial nerve during and after the left radial nerve stimulation. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates an analgesic effect of HF-TPNS not only in the ipsilateral but also in the contralateral side of stimulation, suggesting a possible role of contralateral HF-TPNS in the treatment by physical therapy of patients with unilateral pain syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalPM and R
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)


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