NSM neurostimulation is a new method for the treatment of orthopedic and neurological pain disorders, in which very fine probes, similar to acupuncture needles, are inserted into the injured tissue. NSM was developed by Dr. Albrecht Molsberger, Prof. (USA/UNC), PD, Dr. med. It works by controlling the body’s own electrical fields. NSM treatments are performed in Germany by licensed specialists who are committed to maintaining the highest medical and scientific quality standards and who regularly share their findings and know‑how. Our practice is part of this network. Many patients and physicians have found that NSM stimulation has faster, stronger and more long-lasting effects than cortisone. Patients are able to reduce their use of medication substantially.
Many dramatic patient reports, case histories and descriptions of conditions that have been treated with NSM stimulation may be found on the patient information website www.neueschmerztherapie.de
As the many patient examples show, NSM in many cases results in rapid and long-lasting improvement and healing of painful conditions, including
Headache, cluster headache
Hip pain – trochanteric pain syndrome
Sports injuries – inflammation of the Achilles tendon and heel pain
Back pain – neck and low-back pain syndromes
Joint and tendon problems
Patient history: Pain in the legs and buttocks
A 67-year-old female patient had been suffering from pain in the thighs and buttocks for the past year, radiating into the sacroiliac joint and the back. The physicians she had consulted had diagnosed tendinitis and bursitis of the trochanter, the part of the femur connecting to the hip bone. Pharmacological therapy with analgesics, cortisone injections, non steroidal anti-rheumatics (Voltaren, Ibuprofen) and physiotherapy had brought no lasting improvement, and the condition had become chronic. After the first session of Dr. Molsberger`s NSM stimulation the symptoms declined by 60% within three days. Medication was reduced, and the pain that had been keeping the patient awake at night disappeared. After a further session of NSM, pain was reduced by 90%. In the following weeks, the sciatica-like pain healed completely. The patient has been free of pain for more than a year.
NSM in sports medicine
NSM neurostimulation has proven very effective for sports injuries such as inflammations of the tendons, ligaments and muscles, often caused by over exertion (achillodynia or inflammation of the Achilles tendon, myofascial tears, tennis elbow, golfers elbow). Athletes appreciate in particular the accelerated rate of healing and the reduced need for medications.
The scientific basis of NSM
Inspired by publications describing how wound healing can be speeded up in the presence of electrical fields, Dr. Molsberger initially discovered the effects of neurostimulation largely by chance (6). Since then the method has been continuously developed. According to the latest literature, the effect of neurostimulation may be best explained by the neutralization of pro inflammatory hormones. These are known as cytokines, messenger substances that include substance P, bradykinin, TNF alpha, interleukins 1, 6 and 8, and norepinephrines. All of these cytokines promote inflammation and amplify nerve pain (1, 3-5). At the same time, neurostimulation appears to stimulate growth-promoting cytokines. These include platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta), and insulin-like growth factor (ILG) – all factors that are also used in autologous biologicals (e.g. platelet rich plasma or PRP) (2). These cell hormones trigger the regeneration of tissue and promote permanent healing. Ultimately, however, the mechanism of action of this highly effective method is not yet fully understood.
What happens in an NSM session
NSM stimulation is a minimally invasive, interventional pain therapy. It is largely painless. Treatment is performed under sterile conditions, with the patient lying down, and lasts 30 minutes. In much the same way as in other stereotactic methods (operations on the spine or the trigeminal nerve), a local anaesthetic is first administered, and then fine probes are inserted into the diseased areas of the body. Checks are done to verify that the probes have been correctly placed, and then specific electrical fields are applied. The fields are generated by a microprocessor-controlled stimulation device specially developed for this purpose. The patient feels a slight, painless tingling. In contrast to conventional stereotactic procedures, neurostimulation does not destroy tissue; rather, it stimulates the tissues to regenerate themselves. Treatment costs are generally covered by private insurance plans.
Over the years, we have been able to observe the effectiveness of NSM stimulation in many hundreds of patients. This method is thus considered to be well proven. We and our patients continue to be continually amazed at how quickly, effectively and reproducibly this new therapeutic method works to alleviate even most severe, chronic pain, and frequently leads to permanent healing.
- 1. Mccaig et al. Controlling cell behavior electrically: current views and future potential. Physiological Reviews (2005) vol. 85 (3) pp. 943-78
- 2. Creaney und Hamilton. Growth factor delivery methods in the management of sports injuries: the state of play. British Journal of Sports Medicine (2008) vol. 42 (5) pp. 314-320
- 3. Robinson. Electric Fields Review. The journal of Cell Biology (1985) pp.2023-2027
- 4. Shah et al. Biochemicals associated with pain and inflammation are elevated in sites near to and remote from active myofascial trigger points. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation (2008) vol. 89 (1) pp. 16-23
- 5. Shah. An in vivo microanalytical technique for measuring the local biochemical milieu of human skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology (2005) vol. 99 (5) pp. 1977-1984
- 6. Zhao et al. Electrical signals control wound healing through phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase-γ and PTEN. Nature (2006) vol. 442 (7101) pp. 457-460