Chronic Pain

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a New Tool to Control Pain Perception


Treatment for chronic pain is frequently unsuccessful or characterized by side-effects. The high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-rTMS) has been suggested in the management of refractory chronic pain. Various studies have shown that HF-rTMS sessions of long-duration applied at primary motor cortex induce pain relief through mechanisms of plastic changes. Efficacy of rTMS mostly depends on stimulation parameters, but this aspect requires better characterization. A rationale to target other cortical areas exists. Current data are promising, but a careful analysis of stimulation settings and maintenance treatment design are need.

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Onesti E, Gori MC, Frasca V, Inghilleri M. Transcranial magnetic stimulation as a new tool to control pain perception. World J Anesthesiol 2016; 5(1): 15-27 [DOI: 10.5313/wja.v5.i1.15]

Peripheral Magnetic Stimulation

Peripheral magnetic stimulation (PMS) or so-called transcutaneous magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive method of delivering a rapidly pulsed, high-intensity magnetic field to the periphery other than the brain. Interest in the research and clinical applications has increased over the last three decades as it is considered a novel, painless, and easy approach for many neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.[1]

Humankind has been trying to use the magnetism to treat illness for more than thousands of years. Almost 190 years ago, Faraday discovered that a time-varying current creates a magnetic field that can induce another current in a nearby conductive medium.[2] Around 60 years ago, Kolin et al. first demonstrated that an alternating magnetic field could stimulate a nerve in an animal model.[3] In 1982, a group of researchers from the University of Sheffield was the first to report developing a practical magnetic peripheral stimulator and using it to stimulate human peripheral nerves.[4] This magnetic stimulator's main difference from the previously developed pulsed electromagnetic field device (PEMF) was that it had a much higher peak magnetic field strength.

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Kanjanapanang N, Munakomi S, Chang KV. Peripheral Magnetic Stimulation. [Updated 2021 Feb 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: