Local Analgesia from Percutaneous Electrical Stimulation: A Peripheral Mechanism

James N. Campbell, Arthur Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Pain and touch thresholds to a needle stimulus were measured on a finger of each of 11 subjects as a function of the presence or absence of continuous, 100-hertz, 1-msec electrical stimulation delivered proximally to the digital nerves of the finger tested at intensities of either 10 to 12 v, 22 v, or 50 v. At 10 to 12 v touch threshold alone was elevated; at 22 v both touch and pain thresholds were elevated; and at 50 v anesthesia and analgesia resulted. The averaged median nerve compound action potential resulting from either periodic bursts or continuous 50-v, 100-Hz, 0.5-msec duration electrical stimulation to the digital nerves of a finger was studied in each of five subjects. An A-delta wave was recorded with periodic bursts of stimuli, but was absent with continuous stimulation. These results indicate that analgesia from electrical stimulation results from peripheral blockade of A-delta fibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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