What is Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS)?

Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS) therapy is a relatively modern neuro stimulation therapy for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. PENS is used to treat chronic nerve pain including areas of hypersensitivity, headache and chronic post surgical pain.

How does PENS work?

Pain is transmitted by nerves so it is often possible to reduce pain by blocking signals from affected nerves.

A PENS treatment provides electrical stimulation and it triggers alternative waveforms, which combine to induce a pain-relieving effect by altering the state of the nerve.

How is the procedure done?

PENS therapy is a day procedure performed in hospital which requires sedation.

  • You will be assisted to position on the procedure table.
  • You will then be connected to the PENS machine which will deliver the therapy.
  • A very low voltage electrical current is delivered through the probe/s for approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • On completion of the therapy, the probe/s will be removed.
  • You will be admitted overnight in hospital and discharged on the following morning.

What benefits will I receive from PENS?

Some patients will have total pain relief, others experience prolonged pain relief for 3 months or more and others get relief for shorter periods of time.  Some may not get any benefit at all from the procedure.

What are the side effects?

There may be some local bruising and tenderness at the probe insertion site/s.  There is a very small risk of infection and nerve damage.

Can the patient have further PENS therapy?

PENS can be repeated at intervals if you and your doctor feel this is appropriate for you

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