About this Research Topic
Despite the advances made in the last few decades, relieving chronic pain often remains a vexing challenge for clinicians. One promising non-pharmacological approach that has emerged in recent years aims to stimulate and modulate brain regions, spinal cord structures and peripheral nerves using various techniques. Neurostimulation techniques include both invasive (e.g., spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation, motor cortical stimulation) and non-invasive (e.g., transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, transcranial alternating current stimulation, transcranial ultrasound stimulation) approaches. After years of (often inconsistent) trials looking at the efficacy of neurostimulation in chronic pain patients, current research now explores other avenues (e.g., personalized treatment approaches, identification of factors contributing to therapeutic success, combination of neurostimulation techniques with other pharmacological or non-pharmacological therapies to relieve chronic pain), which will enable progress to be made in the field of pain. New treatment strategies, focusing on alternative neural targets or proposing that neurostimulation techniques be used earlier on to prevent (rather than to ease) chronic pain are also examined more and more seriously. Altogether, these findings provide valuable information for clinicians working with pain patients and help to move forward evidence-based practice in pain management, while contributing to the advancement of our understanding of both pain mechanisms and the functioning of the human nervous system.
Details for Authors
The purpose of this research topic is to collect recent cutting-edge work pertaining to the use of non-invasive and invasive neurostimulation techniques in pain research, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, and implanted brain stimulation (deep brain stimulation and epidural motor cortex stimulation). Studies using experimental and clinical pain paradigms, and those focusing on personalized treatment approaches and factors contributing to clinical success or looking into the efficacy of therapeutic strategies combining neurostimulation techniques with other pharmacological or non-pharmacological therapies are welcomed. Basic animal and human studies which use neurostimulation to uncover pain mechanisms and shed new light on the neurophysiology of pain transmission and modulation are also encouraged.
Keywords: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, Non-invasive Brain Stimulation, Spinal Cord Stimulation, Deep Brain Stimulation, Motor Cortical Stimulation
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