Treatment of neuropathic pain through transcranial stimulation and virtual reality
This programme of treatment of neuropathic pain through transcranial stimulation and virtual reality is designed for patients who have suffered a neurological injury and present neuropathic pain after their rehabilitation process is finished, or people in a chronic phase who want to relieve their pain and improve their quality of life.
Neuropathic pain occurs as a result of an injury or dysfunction of the nervous system, as a result of maladaptive plastic changes after a neurological injury. It is seen in patients with a spinal cord injury (complete or incomplete), stroke, patients with complex regional pain syndrome, low back pain or phantom pain after amputation, among others. This treatment is also useful in diseases with chronic pain associated with central sensitisation phenomena, such as fibromyalgia.
At Guttmann Barcelona, we offer this new treatment of neuropathic pain through transcranial stimulation and virtual reality that combines non-invasive direct current brain stimulation (tDCS) with virtual reality strategies. Transcranial stimulation allows us to modulate the activity of the cerebral cortex painlessly and safely. Combining this technique with virtual reality induces a more intense and longer lasting analgesic effect, without causing unwanted effects on people’s cognitive capacity; it is an alternative and/or complementary solution to pharmacological treatments.
TYPES OF INTERVENTION
- Clinical assessment by an expert professional.
- 10 sessions of treatment of neuropathic pain through transcranial stimulation and virtual reality (Monday to Friday for two weeks), lasting 30 minutes each.
- Follow-up to identify the level of improvement achieved and to set therapeutic recommendations.
After discussion with the patient and depending on the aims we wish to achieve, maintaining analgesic results by repeating treatment sessions in the medium and long term may also be proposed. In the event of pain in certain pathologies that do not respond to this technique, the use of another non-invasive brain stimulation system, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), may be considered.