What is Neurostimulation?
Advanced Neurostimulation is the safe delivery of targeted electrical stimulation directly to the spinal cord. Normally, pain signals travel up the spinal cord and into the brain, where they’re experienced as pain. Neurostimulation interrupts the signals in their path and replaces them with either pleasant sensations, or nothing at all.
Neurostimulation therapy is a safe, effective method for chronic pain management in the arms, legs, and back. Although it can’t treat the underlying cause of neuropathic pain, it can dramatically improve quality of life in patients suffering from conditions for which there is limited physiological understanding, including:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Spinal cord injury
- Chronic lower back pain
- Chronic leg pain
- Nerve pain
- Pain that won’t respond to other treatments
How Advanced Neurostimulation Works
There are three components to the system: the neurostimulator implant, the leads, and the handheld device that communicates remotely with the implant. The neurostimulator device is roughly the size of the stopwatch. During a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, the spinal cord stimulator is implanted under the skin of the lower back, buttocks, or abdomen. The implant generates electrical pulses and sends them into the leads. The leads are medical-grade wires that inserted into the epidural region. The patient controls the delivery of the pulses through a handheld device about the size of an iPhone. Some patients experience a tingling or massaging sensation coming from the region of their pain when using the state-of-the-art device. This is known as paresthesia. Other patients experience greatly reduced pain or the complete absence of pain.
100% reversible procedure, Neurostimulation technology is an option that should be considered when all else fails. Advantages of Neurostimulation include:
- Adjustable pain relief. Pain varies from person to person. The number of pain adjustment options on the hand-held controller is in constant development and improvement.
- Minimally invasive procedures. The placement of the leads with electrodes is typically done with a hollow needle, rather than an incision.
- Reduction of opioid use. Neurostimulation pain relief may allow you to take fewer pain medications. Results show that more than a third of a study’s participants having high-frequency therapy reduced or stopped taking opioid medications.
- Targeted pain relief. Instead of taking a medication that affects the whole body and causes sleepiness, constipation, or other problems unrelated to the pain, Neurostimulation delivers pain relief only where it is needed.
- Alternative to oral medication. Another pain control option for those who have problems taking oral medication.
- No more refills. The pain relief from Neurostimulation can continue for years.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
After a short recovery period, the vast majority of patients find they can return to their normal lives prior to the cause of their pain. A successful implant can help patients sit, stand, and walk for longer periods of time, and reduce or eliminate the need for medication. You control the delivery of electrical stimulation, and there is no danger of developing a harmful dependence on pharmaceuticals. The system will not damage neuropathways and is 100% reversible. If at any time a cure or alternative treatment becomes available, the device may be removed. Although neurostimulation might seem like a cutting-edge treatment from the future, the devices have been in use across the globe for decades, and first received FDA approval in 1989. They’re also covered by most major health insurance plans, workers’ compensation, and Medicare.
Is Neurostimulation Right For Me?
Neurostimulation may not be right for everyone. In general, good candidates are those who suffer from chronic pain conditions, radiating or numbing pain or those have found little-to-no relief from other pain management treatments. The device is not recommended for patients with a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator. Patients must also be capable of operating the handheld device. Only a certified specialist is qualified to help you determine if neurostimulation is a good choice for you. Make an appointment with the specialists at NuvoSpine to discuss your needs and available treatment options.
Some Neurostimulation Products we use include:
The Nevro HF10 is among the most effective SCS solution, with a demonstrated success rate for chronic back and leg pain. HF10 is helping more patients return to everyday activities and get back to where they want to be. Significant relief for both back and leg pain. You can leave it on 24/7. No driving restrictions. No sleep restrictions. No tingling sensation, you just feel pain relief. Requires limited to no daily remote usage and 10+ year battery life.
The Medtronic Intellis system may help you get back to doing the everyday things you love the most. The Medtronic spinal cord stimulation is a treatment of chronic pain of back and/or leg. Their AdaptiveStim™ technology automatically adjusts stimulation as you change body positions and has approximately 1-hour battery recharge from empty to full. There are also Versatile therapy options personalized to your pain. You will have control of your therapy with a Handheld Programmer – A stimulation device similar to a remote control that you can use at home to optimize pain relief based on how your pain is changing throughout the day or during various activities.
Boston Scientific Personalized Therapy
Boston Scientific Personalized Therapy offers multiple therapies in one device for adults with chronic pain of the trunk and/or lower limbs. The cool part about this device is If you have pain in different parts of your body, it can be treated all at once using the right kind of stimulation for each pain area by simply using your wireless remote control to adjust the amount of stimulation for each pain area. Some other SCS systems rely on a single type of stimulation, but Boston Scientific lets you choose your stimulation by providing multiple therapies in one device. In fact, this SCS systems is the first to be FDA-approved to deliver both therapies paresthesia and paresthesia-free or both at the same time.
The Stimwave Freedom is totally wireless, which means it have no battery Implanted. This SCS is used for the relief of chronic low back and leg pain. The implant consist of tiny Leads (Wires Only) that are inserted into the epidural space dorsal to the spinal cord. You control the intensity of the stimulation through an external unit (battery) that clips into your clothing. The stimulation can feel like a tingling sensation or no sensation at all. After Implant, You will need to meet with your Stimwave therapist time to time to program your device to optimize pain relief. You will as well have to charge your external wearable battery – just as you would a cell phone. Battery life is 3-8 hours a day. You are given 2 or 3 batteries- so you are never without a battery.
St. Jude Medical Neurostimulator
St. Jude Medical™ neurostimulation systems give patients access to BurstDR stimulation and traditional neurostimulation (tonic stimulation) and help manage chronic pain in the back, arms, and legs. With traditional neurostimulation, a small device is used to interrupt pain signals before they reach the brain. The painful feeling is replaced with a different feeling, which some describe as a tingling or massaging sensation. BurstDR stimulation works similarly. However, BurstDR stimulation was designed to manage pain more naturally. It works by mimicking natural patterns found in the brain—modifying pain signals and changing the way your body perceives pain.1 Most patients do not feel any sensation with BurstDR stimulation. St. Jude Medical offers both therapies—giving patients a greater chance at success. This system contains a battery that does not need to be recharged. The benefit of a recharge-free system is that it requires little effort to maintain.
Dr. Vahedifar's pain management strategies integrate cutting-edge medical technology with targeted interventions to minimize pain and treat pain’s underlying causes.
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