What is Neural Therapy?
Neural therapy has become a widely used modality in the treatment of acute and chronic pain and can be useful in many types of musculoskeletal complaints that are not responsive to other treatments. Also known as therapeutic local anesthesia, neural therapy uses diluted local anesthetics for diagnosis and therapy. The purpose is to positively affect the organisation of the nervous system to minimise a patient’s pain response.
What conditions can benefit from neural therapy?
Research has shown that neural therapy can be effective in lower back pain, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), and fibromyalgia in combination with an exercise program.
Neural therapy has also been shown to significantly assist with chronic post-operative pain.
How does neural therapy work?
The therapy involves 3 to 5 injection sessions over a few weeks. Injections are done with small needles and performed locally (around the painful site) and segmentally (the corresponding spinal segmental level). The injection sites are only at a skin level as the aim is not to achieve anesthesia. If clinically relevant, your doctor might add trigger point injections and any scar tissue injections during the sessions.
Can everyone use neural therapy?
While very safe, this therapy is not recommended for the following conditions:
Local anesthetic allergy
Certain type of cardiac arrhythmias
Skin infection at the injection site
•Egli, S., Pfister, M., Ludin, S. M., de la Vega, K. P., Busato, A., & Fischer, L. (2015). Long-term results of therapeutic local anesthesia (neural therapy) in 280 referred refractory chronic pain patients. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 15(1), 200.
•Nazlıkul, H., Ural, F. G., Öztürk, G. T., & Öztürk, A. D. T. (2018). Evaluation of neural therapy effect in patients with piriformis syndrome. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, (Preprint), 1-6.
•Ural, F. G., Öztürk, G. T., & Nazlıkul, H. (2017). Evaluation of Neural Therapy Effects in Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Ankara Medical Journal, 17(4), 260-266.
•Yilmaz, E. (2018). Comparison of the efficacy of neural therapy versus steroid injection in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 23, 77-83.
•Altınbilek, T., Terzi, R., Başaran, A., Tolu, S., & Küçüksaraç, S. (2019). Evaluation of the effects of neural therapy in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (2587-0823), 65(1).
•Vall-Toscas, C., Sardá Barea, E. M., Martínez Bueno, C., & Zaragoza Marfá, A. (2016). Dolor persistente posparto: tratamiento con procaína subdérmica (terapia neural). Matronas Profesión, 2016, vol. 17, num. 4, p. 143-148.