Cutaneous Field Stimulation (CFS)
Stop Pain in it's Tracts!
Cutaneous Field Stimulation (CFS) is a novel form of electrotherapy to manage pain. CFS can provide 3-6 hours of pain relief following a 30 minute treatment. The action of CFS is achieved by stimulating specific types of nerve fibers, leveraging the nervous system anatomy, to essentially divert the brain’s attention from the signal of chronic pain. The result is a reproducible, longer duration of pain relief. This non-curative therapy is envisioned as a cost effective adjunct to comprehensive pain management program to improve patient quality of life and reduce overall health care costs. It is reasonable to predict that improved pain control will foster increased activity and the associated strengthening which results from increased activity should provide long lasting functional improvement as well.
Cutaneous Field Stimulation (CFS) uses a unique array of tiny needle-like electrodes that are specifically designed to stimulate superficial nerve fibers (cutaneous Ad and C fibers). It uses low frequency (4 Hz), high current density stimulation via needle like electrode arrays that only penetrate the first layer of the epidermis (Stratum Corneium). The electrode arrays (Transducers) are placed directly over the area of pain.
There is a hierarchy in the processing of signals in the spinal cord. Signals from Ad fibers transmit urgent messages about injuries to the body, they alert the brain to act quickly to take evasive action. (Think Ad fibers = Acute pain). Signals from C fibers transmit less urgent messages which signify achey or dull type pain. (Think C fibers = Chronic pain). The spinal cord prioritizes signals from Ad fibers over signals from C fibers. An example would be that if your arm muscles ache from a hard work out the signal is carried by C fibers but if you hit your thumb on that arm with a hammer the acute pain will be carried by Ad fibers and your reaction will be to ignore the achy pain and jerk your arm away even though your arm still aches. As long as there are volleys coming from Ad fibers, the spinal cord will suppress the perception of signals from C fibers. Thirty minutes of asynchronous stimulation of the Ad fibers by CFS has a long-term depressive (LTD) effect on the perception of local C-fiber activity (Chronic pain). This effect occurs in the spinal cord and can provide pain relief for 3 – 6 hours after therapy has stopped.