‘Pacemaker for Pain’ — Just One Option Heralded as Drug-Free Alternative
Coin-sized Medical Device Treats Chronic Pain
ORLANDO, Fla., Sept 20 /PRNewswire/ — The truth is – for people suffering from chronic pain there are alternative therapies to prescription medication. Pain physicians continue to find neurostimulation an effective treatment for patients suffering with chronic pain. This is just one option that physicians working with The Pain Truth, a campaign established to combat Florida’s increasing prescription drug addiction problem, would like the public to know is available to them.
“Many patients assume that pain relief can only come in the form of a pill, but it’s important for people to understand that there are drug-free options to obtain relief. Innovative procedures are available that bring long-lasting, pain-free results,” says Deborah Tracy, MD, president of the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, the organization behind The Pain Truth campaign.
Neurostimulation delivers low levels of electrical energy directly to nerve fibers through an implantable device. One such device, the Eon Mini, is said to be the world’s smallest, longest lasting, rechargeable neurostimulator.
Beth McDonald, a 41-year-old from Orlando, FL spent almost two decades in a wheelchair totally debilitated by constant searing pain caused by a fall that tore her sympathetic nerve trunk out of her left ankle. After 143 doctors, 30 major surgeries, and an addiction to prescription medicine, she decided to try another last resort therapy and received the Eon Mini device, which is sometimes referred to as a “pacemaker for pain.”
About the size of a U.S. silver dollar, the Eon Mini neurostimulator is similar in function and appearance to a cardiac pacemaker. It delivers mild electrical pulses to the spinal cord, which interrupt or mask the pain signals’ transmission to the brain.
The former national champion gymnast says she’s regained her life after nearly two decades in a wheelchair. “I’ll tell you what it did for me,” Ms. McDonald says. “I was on fire from my waist down. The fire is out, and I can walk again.”
Stanley Golovac, MD, an interventional pain physician based in South Florida who works with The Pain Truth says, “The type of neurostimulation that might be appropriate for a patient depends on many factors, including the cause of pain, its type, and location.” Below he shares some important 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, people have usually tried simpler 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.
Those interested in learning more about The Pain Truth can visit www.thepaintruth.org, or call 407-833-9202.
About the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP)
FSIPP is a not-for-profit organization whose members promote the development and practice of safe, high quality, cost-effective interventional pain management techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders. Members are advocates for the health of their patients and uphold the high principles, policies, and practices of their medical specialty. FSIPP was an integral part in getting the Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation passed in the state.
SOURCE Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
*Click here for the original press release online.