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Altering Pain Signals with the Latest Technology

How pain signals are changed with latest technologies

Neuromodulation can be a life-changing treatment for the carefully selected patient. In recent years, we have seen neuromodulation therapy advance in a way that has dramatically reduced pain and improved functioning for many of our patients.

Neuromodulation aims to reduce pain by interrupting ‘pain signals’ in the body. Neuromodulation devices do this by sending electrical currents along the spinal cord, which can disturb ‘pain signals’ on their pathway to the brain. These devices consist of a battery and leads that are surgically placed in two stages. The first stage is a two-week trial which allows the patient to test out the possible pain relief they may experience, and then a permanent implant if the trial is successful.

As global leaders in pain intervention, Metro Pain Group has been able to work closely in developing ground-breaking technology for neuromodulation. One of the advancements includes the development of a recharge-free spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device.

The recharge-free spinal cord stimulator (SCS) has a battery life of up to 10 years and uses low-dose electrical pulses, that mimic natural brain patterns, to preserve battery. This SCS device has the functionality to be used alongside some mobile digital devices and wireless technology for seamless integration with a modern lifestyle. The SCS device also features upgradeable technology, ready for the next advancements in chronic pain therapy via software updates. [i]

A recent innovation in the treatment of chronic back and leg pain is the introduction of 10-kHz high-frequency therapy. This device works by delivering high frequency (10kHz) pulses to the spinal epidural space, which interrupts the transmission of pain signals. This treatment is free from the common side effects of traditional SCS, being a tingling or buzzing feeling known as paraesthesia. This device can be used while driving and can stay on while you sleep. [ii]

For patients with peripheral chronic pain (e.g. feet, legs and knees), a type of neuromodulation where leads are placed around the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) may be able to provide the desired pain relief. Traditional spinal cord stimulators modulate the transmission of pain signals along the spinal cord, whereas DRG therapy works on a bundle of nerves located marginally outside of the spinal cord. By placing leads along the DRG, pain relief can be achieved within a focal area on the feet, legs, hands and knees. [iii]

As different devices on the market perform varied functions, your doctor can help match the device that is right for your needs and specific pain condition. For more information or if you would like to find out if neuromodulation is right for you, please fill out the form below.

Neuromodulation inquiry

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References:
[i] Deer, T., Slavin, K. V., Amirdelfan, K., North, R. B., Burton, A. W., Yearwood, T. L., … & Justiz, R. (2018). Success using neuromodulation with BURST (SUNBURST) study: results from a prospective, randomized controlled trial using a novel burst waveform. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, 21(1), 56-66.

[ii] Kapural, Leonardo, et al. “Novel 10-kHz high-frequency therapy (hf10 therapy) is superior to traditional low-frequency spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic back and leg pain. The SENZA-RCT randomized controlled trial.” Anesthesiology: The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists 123.4 (2015): 851-860.

[iii] Krames, Elliot S. “The dorsal root ganglion in chronic pain and as a target for neuromodulation: a review.” Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface 18.1 (2015): 24-32.

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