Altered Paw Pain Thresholds Due to Different Spinal Cord Stmulation Parameters in a Rat Model of Chronic Neuropathetic Pain

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Treatments for chronic pain, such as opioid prescription, have proven successful in pain reduction but also have significant drawbacks such as incomplete efficacy and high abuse potential. Thus, there is a need for alternative pain treatments. One such potential treatment is spinal cord stimulation (SCS), wherein an electrode is inserted into the spinal cavity and emits electronic stimulation to disrupt pain signals on their way to the brain. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of different spinal cord stimulation parameters in a rat model of chronic pain (spared nerve injury; SNI), and used three methods of data analysis to determine the most efficient and sensitive way to compare changes in paw sensitivity across groups, days, and paws. Rats (N=49) were assigned to one of seven treatments: Naive, Sham, SNI- no treatment, High-Density Active Balance stimulation, High-Density Passive Balance stimulation, Low-Density Active Balance stimulation, or Low-Density Passive Balance stimulation. Paw pain sensitivity was assessed using the von Frey method of withdrawal threshold measurement at Baseline (before SNI), five days Post-SNI Lesion, and 48 hours Post-Stimulation Treatment. SNI lesions had the expected effect of increasing paw sensitivity on the injured side. All treatments except Low-Density Passive Balance were effective in alleviating paw sensitivity, but only Low-Density Active Balance group pain thresholds returned to baseline. The most effective way to analyze changes in rat pain sensitivity was the Baseline as Control method: between-groups repeated measures ANOVAs with successive paired-sample T-Tests, using each group's Baseline sensitivity levels as a control for comparison to respective groups' pain sensitivity levels on succeeding days.



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