In an interesting recent study in Cádiz, Spain, researchers have evaluated the effectiveness of 5% Lidocaine-medicated plaster as an add-on therapy for patients suffering chronic peripheral neuropathic pain conditions, including Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
This was a very small scale observational study over a 6 month period, involving 56 patients, only 10 of whom suffered with CRPS.
After 6 months, 75% of patients reported a reduction in the intensity of their pain (as measured subjectively on a numeric rating scale) of 50% or more. Across the whole group, the average pain score was reduced by 61%.
Looking specifically at the small number of CRPS sufferers participating in the study, 6 out the 10 reported a reduction in the intensity of their pain of 50% or more, with an average reduction of 51%.
The researchers also reported that the reduction in pain intensity partially resulted in a reduction in anxiety levels and an improvement in functionality.
Interestingly, in an earlier and unrelated study, 5% Lidocaine medicated plaster proved as effective as Pregabalin (Lyrica) in relieving neuropathic pain in people suffering diabetes and with significantly fewer side effects.
We recommend that anybody interested in this therapy should discuss it with their pain consultant.