PENS: Who May Not Be Eligible For A PENS Treatment

PENS, which is actually a Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator or Stimulation is a pain management treatment for people who are specifically experiencing peripheral nerve pain. It is a very non-invasive treatment, although it is administered through the skin, unlike a TENS system, which is applied to the skin. The PENS treatment is almost scarily simple; it provides electrical stimulation to peripheral nerves and this in turn triggers alternative waveforms. The nerves are effectively stimulated into not feeling pain any more and the benefits of PENS are great.

For example, it does not require patients to take strong pain killers, which are often opiate based and can be dangerous to take over long periods of time. The use of PENS can be more effective than other treatments such as nerve root blocks and the procedure, although administered through the skin is much less invasive than surgery.

So it would appear to be a %u2018magic bullet%u2019 when it comes to pain and sometimes patients can read about a PENS treatment and then be concerned that the treatment has not been recommended for them. However, it is not in fact a %u2018magic bullet%u2019 and there are some people who will simply be unable to undertake this treatment. That is not because it is risky, but simply because it is not appropriate for their particular circumstances.

Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

The PENS treatment will only be effective on long-term neuropathic pain that is specifically of peripheral origin. This means that in effect the pain is peripheral neuropathic pain, i.e. originating within the nerves and not the central neuropathic pain. So in effect there are many conditions, such as MS where the pain is central neuropathic pain and as such PENS may well not be effective. Its efficacy is really with regard to peripheral neuropathic pain. So if your pain is not peripheral neuropathic, it is unlikely that you will be advised to undergo a PENS treatment.

People With Epilepsy

Patients who have epilepsy may well be advised not to undergo a PENS treatment. This is simply because the PENS works through electrical stimulation and this could well trigger a seizure, so its use is generally not advised if the patient has epilepsy.

People With Heart Conditions

Patients who have significant heart conditions may also not be advised to undergo a PENS treatment. This is not to say that it is a risky procedure, but the treatment is based on electrical stimulation and as such, a patient with a significant heart condition is simply best advised to %u2018play safe%u2019. They may well be able to have the treatment and it would not cause any problems for their heart, but on a balance of probabilities