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Electroanalgesic Nerve Block

As Originally published by Practical Pain Management, April 2006

By: Dr. Robert Odell, et. al.
Tel: 702-257-7246
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Electroanalgesic medical treatment involves the use of computer-modulated electronic signals to imitate, exhaust or block the function of somatic or sympathetic nerve fibers. An electroanalgesic medical device (EAD), utilizing communications-level technology, is used to produce and deliver higher-frequency signal energy in a continually varying sequential and random pattern via specialty electrodes. These electrodes of specific size, shape, and anatomical placement, can be effectively used to obtain pharmaceutical effects.1,2 Electroanalgesic treatment for accomplishing nerve fiber block procedures typically use very small targeting electrodes (approx. ¾"-1.5" diameter), while electroanalgesic physical medicine treatments tend to use much larger electrodes (4" or more in diameter).

This electronically and digitally generated energy pattern also follows quartertone incremental steps with a pause at specific harmonic frequencies selected for their desired effects or mechanisms of action. This selection of specific frequencies effectively increases the initiation of tissue resonance phenomenon in the microstructure and macromolecular range. Some well known and well documented mechanisms of action employed by this harmonic resonance include the imitation of hormone/ligand effects, activation of cellular regeneration, and the facilitation of enzymatic metabolic processes.3,4,5 The EAD unit used in the subsequent case reports was the Sanexas Neo GeneSys device.


The use of electrical signals for various medical treatments has been mentioned since ancient times with the earliest manmade records (2750 BC) discussing the electrical properties and treatment potential of the Nile catfish, Malopterurus electricus.6 Subsequent writings of Celsius, Oribasius, and other compilers describe medical treatment with electric fish by Hippocrates (420 BC) but little else until about 46 AD, at which time the Roman physician, Scribonus Largus, introduced the electrical capabilities of the fish into clinical medicine as a cure for intractable headache pain, neuralgia, joint inflammation, and gout.

In the 1700s, European physicians documented the use of controlled electrical currents from electrostatic generators for numerous medical problems involving pain and circulatory dysfunction. During that period, Benjamin Franklin also documented pain relief by using electrical currents for a number of ailments including frozen shoulder.

Today, the clinical use of electromedical modalities in both diagnosis and treatment is well documented with basic and physical science replete with references demonstrating the positive effects on patients for a myriad of medical conditions. 7 Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) treatment is a welldocumented, mild form of electroanalgesia that has been shown to provide pain relief by administering small electrical currents through the skin. It is believed that the primary physiological mechanism of action achieved via standard TENS application is due to a direct counter- irritation of the central nervous system (CNS); the mechanism of action is consistent with the Gate Control Theory of Pain by Melzak and Wall.

Electroanalgesia nerve blocks, both at the stellate ganglion and the lumbar sympathetic region (paravertebral approach) have already been described in the literature. The reader is referred to the seminal paper by Robert Schwartz, MD titled "Electric sympathetic block: current theoretical concepts and clinical results."1 These blocks have been shown to be up to 75% effective and may be able to decrease a patient's pain and increase functionality virtually without risk.

Advanced Generation Electroanalgesic Medical Devices

A more advanced, communications-level technology medical device, known as an electroanalgesic medical device (EAD), appears to be much more potent in its ability to reduce or mitigate acute and/or chronic intractable pain conditions than conventional TENS technology. The major difference in this new randomly generated higher frequency EAD technology over the older lower frequency TENS technology is that, in addition to the known and accepted TENS effects, the nerve axon transport of pain signals (action impulses) are interrupted (blocked). EAD technology incorporates randomly-generated electronic signal energy with much higher electrical frequencies (<25,000 Hz). This EAD technology is continually varying the 1) carrier frequency, 2) carrier frequency sweep speed, 3) pulse/modulation rate, as well as 4) continually changing the intensity (dosage) of the current to precisely match parameters delivered at the appropriate time.

Standard TENS technology relies on amplitude modulation (AM) of the electrical current being delivered to the body. The newer EAD technology uses a continually varied and randomly generated electrical signal current delivered to the body as amplitude modulated current (AM) and frequency modulated current (FM) combined. This complex electronic signal is manipulated by an on-board EAD computer, which actually combines or mixes both elements of AM and FM simultaneously. The theory is that this complex electrical signaling system is changing so often that the nervous system cannot "learn" or accommodate to the administered signal and that the speed of the electric signal is so high that a complete depolarization of the nerve membrane occurs.

Specific Parameter Electrical Signaling

Specific parameter signaling is defined as selecting certain parameters to achieve two specific ends: 1) to more directly (and indirectly) focus their electro-physiological effects toward specific characteristics of the various nerve fiber types (A-alpha, A-beta, A-delta, C-fibers, etc.); and/or 2) to address the medical indications where certain "therapeutic mechanisms of action" are known to be useful in the treatment success of that particular indication.

These electrical variables include manipulation of the 1) carrier frequencies, 2) movement (sweeping) of the carrier frequencies; and 3) sweeping of the carrier frequencies at different velocities between two border frequencies. With these frequency changes, the specific parameters of dosage (electrical signal energy amplitude) are varied according to the changing frequency parameters. This adjustment is required because, as frequency increases, higher intensity is required for deeper tissue penetration and effect.1 The increased dosage is tolerated by the tissues without patient discomfort or heat generation because the current perception threshold also rises. Sophisticated computer signaling is required for the rapid adjustments of amplitude as a function of the changing specific parameters.

Electrophysiology of the Neuron

. . .Continue to read rest of article (PDF).

Dr. Robert H. Odell, Jr., MD. PhD is a Stanford and UCLA trained, board certified Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician who has over 25 years of expertise. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Stanford and has published in the lumbar decompression and electromedicine literature.

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