Tags: back pain, chronic pain, Neurostimulation
There’s good news for the estimated one in four people that suffer with moderate to chronic pain. Until recently, medication, steroid injections, and invasive surgeries were some of the few options available for chronic pain sufferers. And with an estimated 30% of back surgeries deemed to be unsuccessful, finding relief was a bleak if not impossible reality. But with advances in technology, there continue to be new solutions for patients.
Doctors and patients alike are excited for advances to an alternative that is literally making waves: the Epiducer lead delivery system for neurostimulation.
The new FDA approved Epiducer technology allows physicians to implant multiple neurostimulation leads through a single entry point, eliminating the need for invasive open surgery, and allowing for better stimulation induced pain control.
Neurostimulation delivers mild electrical pulses to areas experiencing pain, which interrupt or mask the pain signals’ transmission to the brain. With some devices as small as a U.S. silver dollar and similar in function to a cardiac pacemaker, this long-lasting, pain-free implantable device delivers results where invasive surgeries have failed.
“The stimulation therapy can be programmed to meet each individual patient’s needs in providing pain relief in multiple areas such as the buttocks, arms, legs and back,” explains Coastal Orthopedics, neurologist and pain management specialist, Gennady Gekht, MD. “This drug-free alternative in treating chronic pain is an important option for sufferers who have not found relief with alternate procedures.”
Chronic pain is a largely undertreated and misunderstood condition, which leaves neurostimulation as a last resort for some patients. Following implantation of the device, patients can control their pain by using a remote control device connected with the stimulator. The remote allows patients to adjust stimulation within parameters set by the physician, check the neurostimulator’s battery, and turn the power on and off.
Below are additional facts about neurostimulation.
What it is - Neurostimulation is an “advanced” therapy that is used to relieve certain types of chronic pain. “Advanced” means that before deciding on neurostimulation, a patient has usually tried other options to relieve their pain. Neurostimulation therapy does require a minor procedure. This procedure is most commonly performed in two separate stages – a temporary trial and a permanent procedure.
What it isn’t - Neurostimulation is not a cure for what’s causing the pain. It’s a therapy designed to mask pain by blocking pain signals before they reach the brain. Pain is then replaced with a more pleasant sensation called paresthesia. Some have even reported that they simply feel the absence of pain.
Only a doctor or pain specialist can determine if you are a candidate for neurostimulation. Typically, a good candidate for neurostimulation is someone who has experienced:
- Chronic pain in the back, neck, arms, or legs that has lasted at least six months
- Neuropathic pain (pain marked by burning, tingling, or numbness)
- Little or no relief from surgery or other treatment options, such as pain medications, nerve blocks, or physical therapy
All interventional pain management physicians at Coastal Orthopedics have performed hundreds of the neurostimulation implant procedures.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for Epiducer neurostimulation, or are interested in participating in current research trials involving the FDA approved procedure, visit CoastalOrthopedics.com or call 941-792-1404.