Last updated on November 2019

Effects of tDCS on Heart Rate Variability in Chronic Low Back Pain


Brief description of study

Chronic low back (CLBP) pain is an important public health and socioeconomic problem worldwide and, despite the volume of research in the area, it remains a difficult condition to treat. There are some evidences that altered heart rate variability (HRV) parameters are associated with different clinical disorders, such as chronic low back pain. For instances, diminished parasympathetic activity has been explored as a potential therapeutic target. Considering the dynamic interaction between brain and heart, neuromodulatory strategies targeting this relationship could exert a positive influence on cardiac autonomic system and pain modulation systems.

Transcranial direct current (tDCS) stimulation is a noninvasive neuromodulation technique that has been presenting recent advances in the treatment of chronic pain. However, tDCS application focusing on brain-heart interaction has not been extensively explored, especially on chronic pain conditions.

This study aims to investigate the effects of tDCS on HRV in chronic low back pain patients. Sixty patients will be randomized into two distinct groups to receive either tDCS (anodal) or tDCS (sham) in a single session protocol. The primary clinical outcome (HRV parameter) will be collected before, during and post-tDCS. The data will be collected by a blind examiner to the treatment allocation.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT04077632

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