Whether you suffer from arthritis, back pain, a musculoskeletal injury or a rotator cuff injury, you know the lasting and devastating effects of chronic pain all too well. Perhaps you’ve tried the medication and surgery route to no avail. Maybe you’re looking for a promising alternative therapy that’s non-invasive and that puts you in control.
In that case, you may be a candidate for nerve pain stimulation to treat your chronic pain.
This involves the insertion of tiny electrical devices into the skin to stimulate your peripheral nerves (those located beyond the spinal cord or brain) with a series of rapid electromagnetic pulses. Also known as PNS, or peripheral nerve stimulation, this approach was invented back in the 1960s, according to the International Neuromodulation Society.
While not exactly new, per se, nerve pain stimulation has undergone many advances since its inception, with larger leads connected to a battery-operated, implanted pulse generator. It’s becoming more and more popular in the treatment of anything from back pain to neuropathies. With PNS, specific nerves are blocked from sending pain signals to the brain via electrical impulses to essentially change how your brain behaves, and how it perceives and responds to chronic pain, says Duke Health.
An Alternative to Traditional Chronic Pain Treatment
In the United States alone, 25 million people live with chronic low back pain, and millions more experience pain after surgery such as hernia repair, total knee replacement, carpal tunnel release, hip replacements, and more. As a result, many patients take opioids over the long term, with nearly 2.6 million becoming new persistent opioid users each year, says the Mayo Clinic.
Faced with a growing opioid crisis, there is a critical need for non-narcotic pain management solutions. Peripheral nerve stimulation was developed to address that need. This FDA-approved non-opioid pain-management system was designed to treat chronic as well as acute pain.
A small lead wire is inserted into the skin to target a specific peripheral nerve, guided by ultrasound imaging. A matchbox-sized stimulator, weighing about one ounce, is attached to the lead. The patient can adjust and customize stimulation and output remotely as needed, putting control in their hands. This empowering and innovative alternative to chronic pain is gaining in popularity as more and more people say no to invasive surgeries and addictive pain medication.
A Look at Nerve Pain Stimulation
When you have received an injury, your nervous system has to tell your brain. This is done when the affected nerves transmit information from the site of injury to the brain, where your brain then interprets this information as pain. As we age, the parts of your nervous system that transmit pain signals can get damaged either through disease or injury. As a result, they may transmit pain signals where there is no injury; when there was an injury but that injury has since healed; or when they transmit intense pain signals that don’t line up with the actual extent of the injury.
By inserting nerve pain stimulation devices near nerves that aren’t functioning as they should, patients can turn on the device to block the pain signals from reaching the brain, rendering chronic pain into a dull ache. Not only does this put the patient in charge of the impulses, it significantly improves their quality of life.
Those who are good candidates for nerve pain stimulation can find significant relief very soon after implantation, usually within a day or two, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Contact Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine
To learn more about nerve pain stimulation, schedule your appointment today when you call us at (248) 216-1008. This procedure can relieve pain related to a variety of conditions, such as knee pain, tension headaches, hip injuries, bursitis, neck pain, neuropathy, spinal trauma, and more.