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What is Neural Therapy?

Neural therapy was discovered in 1940 by two German doctors.  The pain and limitation of movement of peri-arthritis scapulohumeralis, a painful stiffening of the shoulder joint, disappeared immediately during the infiltration of an osteomyelitis scar on the lower leg.  This could not be a pharmacological effect of the procaine used as the healing was faster than the pharmacological activity could initiate.  It was the first finding of neural therapy in the history of medicine. 


It took a long time for this discovery to penetrate the scientific world.  The fact that therapy originated in Germany at the start of the Second World War plays a role in this.  Also, no one, not even the neural therapists, let alone the academic scientists, understood how neural therapy works.  Neural therapy is still wrongly regarded by non-scientists as complementary and alternative medicine, even as quackery. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Recent research has discovered the pathogenesis, development of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and the mechanism of action of neural therapy.  The cause of CRPS is a scar on the body or an injury in the mouth-jaw area.  CRPS is a condition that begins insidiously with pain and various functional complaints. After trauma, often a bone fracture, CRPS evolves into the most painful condition that exists.  Ultimately, the patient constantly suffers as much pain as during childbirth or during the amputation of a finger or toe phalanx without anesthesia.  In the past, many victims of this disease were driven to suicide by the inhuman and unbearable pain.  Some refer to CRPS as Südeck atrophy, referring to the German physician who described the condition in 1900. 


Neural therapy is the only simple, fast and definitive treatment for complex regional pain syndrome.  Neural therapy is free of side effects and is performed on an outpatient basis.  It is a treatment in which superficial injections of procaine are placed.  The treatment does not destroy nerves.  Neural therapy is the treatment of choice for CRPS. 

Diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia

Diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia is incorrectly classified as neural therapy.  There is no complex regional pain syndrome here.  The unique pharmacological properties of procaine have been successfully used in various pain syndromes and chronic functional complaints. 


Procaine is the shortest-acting local anesthetic available. It was discovered in 1905 during the search for a chemical non-addictive replacement for the plant-based addictive cocaine.  In addition to local anesthetic activity, procaine exhibits many other pharmacological properties due to the simplicity of its molecule. 


Diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia consists of a series of injections.  Sometimes intracutaneous injections are made, but often the injections are deeper than the skin or mucous membrane.  Local anesthetic is then deposited at and in nerve nodes, the epidural space, joints, blood vessels, etc.

The effect of diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia is explained by the pharmacology of procaine, by (patho)physiology and (neuro)anatomy and not by the complex regional pain syndrome as in neural therapy.  Anesthesiologists perform diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia in their pain clinics using modern long-acting local anesthetics and neurolytics.  The latter destroy nerves. 

For which conditions is neural therapy useful?

In general it can be stated that visiting a neural therapist can be useful for chronic complaints with normal medical examination results. 


A distinction must be made between neural therapy and diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia, although both are performed by neural therapists. 


Neural therapy is indispensable in the treatment of CRPS
Südeck atrophy.  A maximum of three treatments are sufficient to definitively cure the patient. 


Diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia can be used, among other things, for  conditions listed below.  Multiple treatments are necessary. 


Main indications:

- Pain: headache, facial pain, neck pain, lower back pain, osteoarthritis

- Muscle and joint pain

- Sports injuries, although needles are generally not used in sportsmen 

- Whiplash

- Ringing in the ears and dizziness

- Asthma and chronic bronchitis

- Benign abdominal pain and digestive difficulties

- Urogenital and gynecological complaints

- Circulation disorders

- ...


Neural therapy and diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia are not effective for hereditary disorders, infectious diseases and malignant disorders. Panic fear of needles is also a reason not to choose neural therapy or diagnostic and therapeutic locoregional anesthesia. Psychiatric disorders with the exception of depression are not an indication. Contraindications are blood clotting disorders and myasthenia gravis. In case of allergy to para-amino-benzoic acid, a metabolite of procaine, xylocaine is used. 



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