Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is a common complication of diabetes mellitus that is associated with a significant decline in quality of life. Like other painful neuropathic conditions, PDN is difficult to manage clinically, and a variety of pharmacological and non-pharmacological options are available for this condition. Recommended pharmacotherapies include anticonvulsive agents, antidepressant drugs, and topical capsaicin; and tapentadol, which combines opioid agonism and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition, has also recently been approved for use. Additionally, several neuromodulation therapies have been successfully used for pain relief in PDN, including intrathecal therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and spinal cord stimulation (SCS). Recently, 10 kHz SCS has been shown to provide clinically meaningful pain relief for patients refractory to conventional medical management, with a subset of patients demonstrating improvement in neurological function. This literature review is intended to discuss the dosage and prospective data associated with pain management therapies for PDN.
Keywords: 10 kHz SCS; diabetes; neuromodulation; neuropathic pain; painful diabetic neuropathy; peripheral diabetic neuropathy; spinal cord stimulation.