banner ad
Experts Logo


New Technique Combines Electrical Currents and Local Anesthetic for Pain Management

As Originally published by Practical Pain Management, June 2011.

By: Dr. Robert Odell & Dr. Richard Sorgnard
Tel: 702-257-7246
Email Dr. Odell

View Profile on

Combined electrochemical nerve block reduced pain in 80% of patients with neuropathies and 50% of patients with intractable back pain.

Numerous types of electrical currents are offered in modern electromedicine. The plethora of currents is made possible by varying the frequency, amplitude (intensity), and direction of the current in time. Within these electric current parameters are distinct and varying physiologic and therapeutic effects for the human biosystem.

Typically, therapeutic electric currents are classified according to their frequencies-for example, low frequency (LF; <2,000 Hz), medium frequency (MF; 2,000-100,000 Hz), or high frequency (HF; &mt;100,000 Hz). This therapeutic classification system appears to originate from numerous physiologic investigations made in the last century.1-5 In the human biosystem, LF and MF currents are used for therapeutic stimulation of excitable cells (receptors, nerves, and muscles). Depending on the stimulating frequency delivered, physiologic and therapeutic actions may occur that may include vasodilatation, vasoconstriction, analgesia, activation of regeneration, and facilitation of metabolism.

This article describes a new electromagnetic device and its use in combination with local anesthetic therapy to treat pain problems.

New Advanced Technology

The vast majority of electromedical devices available in the United States employ LF stimulation (eg, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS]). Balanced MF currents have been developed that produce twice the electrical current with no electrical charge. A new type of electrical current technology has been developed to enhance the stimulating lower frequencies and nonstimulating middle frequencies for increased efficacy in clinical practice. The device also combines, and simultaneously delivers, frequency-modulated (FM) and amplitude-modulated (AM) electric cell currents in the MF range. We refer to this electromedical approach as electronic signal treatment (EST).

This new technology may reach deeper into tissue structures with simultaneous modulation of amplitude and frequency between 2,500 Hz and 33,000 Hz. It is also capable of modulating its MF electric cell-signaling current down into the LF range at available frequency rates between 0.1 and 999 Hz.

In addition, we have combined the new EST with local anesthetic injections (bupivacaine 0.25%) with clinical success. This technique provides a combined (electrical and chemical) nerve block that enhances treatment of a neuropathy or a painful condition (see Tables 1 and 2, page 63). According to the Gould Medical Dictionary, a nerve block is defined as "[t]he interruption of the passage of impulses through a nerve, as by chemical, mechanical, or electrical means." Because nerve blocks occur at voltage-gated channels, all nerve blocks are essentially electrical. According to Szasz, "There is no such thing as a chemical block ... only an electrical block."6 We refer to this as combined electrochemical block (CEB).

Clinical Experiences

. . .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.

©Copyright - All Rights Reserved


Related articles


12/5/2005· Pain Management

Acute and Post Operative Pain Management For Children

By: Dr. Steven Richeimer

Traditionally, pain in children is a topic that has received only minimal attention.Much of our understanding of pain in children has been extrapolated from adult studies.As recently as 20 years ago clinicians felt that it was unnecessary to prevent or treat pain in children because the prevailing opinion was that


7/31/2004· Pain Management

Cancer Pain

By: Dr. Steven Richeimer

I think every doctor has several patients that are etched into his memory. One such patient was Dr. G. He was a doctor, the same age that I was, and he had cancer. Cancer pain is different from other pains


11/21/2022· Pain Management

Defense Support - Wrongful Death Suit Related To Opioid Analgesics

By: Joel L. Kent, MD

Following my review of the records as well as the research I conducted, I provided an affidavit to the court indicating that the claims of negligence against this provider had no merit. I found that the treatments provided had been fully within the standard of care recognized at the time.

; broker Movie Ad

Follow us

linkedin logo youtube logo rss feed logo