Tyers, Steve and Smith, Ray B. A comparison of cranial electrotherapy stimulation alone or with chiropractic therapies in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The American Chiropractor, 23(2):39-41, 2001. Download Article.
This study conducted at the Integrated Medical Centers of California, La Jolla, compared Alpha-Stim CES alone (N=20) to Alpha-Stim CES and chiropractic treatment (N=40). Sixty patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia between the ages of 25 and 57 (mean of 45) completed informed consent, and were then evaluated on the Profile of Mood States along with self-ratings of their pain level, quality of sleep, feeling of well being, and quality of life, all on 10-point scales. Tender points were also evaluated. Patients were treated at 0.5 Hz, one hour per day for three weeks via ear clip electrodes. They were able to adjust the current to a comfortable level between 0 and 500 microamperes, with the majority choosing between 100 and 300 microamperes. No attempt was made to adjust medications.
One of the CES patients and 3 of the CES plus chiropractic patients dropped out leaving two groups of 19 and 37 patients. The patients who received CES alone achieved an average of 26% improvement in their pain levels, while the combined therapy group achieved 34% improvement (Fig. 1). The combined therapy group exhibited an improvement of 32% in their tender point evaluations. The combined therapy group also fared better in 5 of the psychological measures (Fig. 2). On the overall sleep self-rating scales, 87% of the patients entering the study rated their sleep as moderate to very poor. At the end of the study, 80% rated their sleep as moderate to excellent, an almost mirror image turn around in their quality of sleep. The authors concluded that CES is a valuable adjunct to chiropractic management of fibromyalgia patients. No negative side effects were reported.