Abstract: Introduction Favourable pain relief results on evoking autonomous twitches at myofascial trigger points with Electrical Twitch Obtaining Intramuscular Stimulation (ETOIMS). Aim To document autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) from blood pressure (BP) and pulse/heart rate changes with ETOIMS. Methods and materials A patient with persistent pain regularly received serial ETOIMS sessions of 60, 90, 120 or >=150 min over 24 months. Outcome measures include BP: systolic, diastolic, pulse pressure and pulse/heart rate, pre-session/immediate-post-session summed differences (SDPPP index), and pain reduction. His results were compared with that of two other patients and one normal control. Each individual represented the following maximal elicitable twitch forces (TWF) graded 1-5: maximum TWF2: control subject; maximum TWF3: CRPS patient with suspected ANS dysfunction; and maximum TWF4 and TWF5: two patients with respective slow-fatigue and fast-fatigue twitches who during ETOIMS had autonomous twitching at local and remote myotomes simultaneously from denervation supersensitivity. ETOIMS results between TWFs were compared using one-way analysis of variance test. Results The patients showed immediate significant pain reduction, BP and pulse/heart rate changes/reduction(s) except for diastolic BP in the TWF5 patient. TWF2 control subject had diastolic BP reduction with ETOIMS but not with rest. Linear regression showed TWF grade to be the most significant variable in pain reduction, more so than the number of treatments, session duration and treatment interval. TWF grade was the most important variable in significantly reducing outcome measures, especially pulse/heart rate. Unlike others, the TWF3 patient had distinctive reductions in SDPPP index. Conclusions Measuring BP and pulse/heart rate is clinically practical for alerting ANS dysfunction maintained CRPS. SDPPP index (>=26) and pulse/heart rate (>=8) reductions with almost every ETOIMS treatment, plus inability to evoke autonomous twitches due to pain-induced muscle hypertonicity, are pathognomonic of this problem.
Keywords: analgesia; article; autonomic neuropathy; backache; blood pressure; clinical article; complex regional pain syndrome; controlled study; diastolic blood pressure; electrical twitch obtaining intramuscular stimulation; electromagnetism; electrostimulation; fatigue; health insurance; heart rate; human; male; muscle hypertonia; muscle twitch; nuclear magnetic resonance imaging; outcome assessment; priority journal; pulse pressure; pulse rate; range of motion; supersensitivity; systolic blood pressure; transcranial magnetic stimulation