Effects of Percutaneous Electrolysis on Endogenous Pain Modulation: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study Protocol

Sergio Varela-Rodríguez, Juan Luis Sánchez-González, José Luis Sánchez-Sánchez, Miguel Delicado-Miralles, Enrique Velasco, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Laura Calderón-Díez
2021 Brain Sciences  
Percutaneous electrolysis consists of the application of a galvanic electrical current throughout an acupuncture needle. It has been previously hypothesized that needling procedures' neurophysiological effects may be related to endogenous pain modulation (EPM). This protocol study describes the design of a double-blind (participant, assessor) randomized controlled trial with the aim to investigate whether percutaneous electrolysis is able to enhance EPM and whether the effect is different
more » ... is different between two applications depending on the dosage of the galvanic electrical current. Seventy-two asymptomatic subjects not reporting the presence of pain symptoms the previous 6 months before the study, aged 18–40 years, are randomized into one of four groups: a control group who does not receive any intervention, a needling group who receives a needling intervention without electrical current, a low-intensity percutaneous electrolysis group (0.3 mA × 90 s), and a high-intensity percutaneous electrolysis group (three bouts of 3 mA × 3 s). Needling intervention consists of ultrasound-guided insertion of the needle on the common extensor tendon of the lateral epicondyle. The primary outcome is conditioned pain modulation (CPM), and secondary outcomes include widespread pressure pain sensitivity (pressure pain thresholds (PPT) over the lateral epicondyle, the cervical spine, and the tibialis anterior muscle) and temporal summation (TS). We expected that percutaneous electrolysis would have a greater influence on CPM than an isolated needling procedure and no intervention. In addition, we also postulated that there might be differences in outcome measures depending on the intensity of the electrical current during the percutaneous electrolysis application. This study makes a new contribution to the field of neurophysiological effects of percutaneous electrolysis and needling interventions.
doi:10.3390/brainsci11060801 fatcat:54m3nwvfpncztjegmbybvtw5mi