Next generation technology is helping patients in Tampa Bay manage pain without opioids.
The wireless device treats chronic pain through spinal stimulation.
“It’s been great, it’s given me my life back basically things I couldn’t do before like exercising and playing golf. Before, I had too much pain even with everyday sitting and standing.” said Curtis Alliston a patient at the National Institute of Spine and Pain.
Dr. Sunil J. Panchal, who heads up the center, says many patients are turning to technology fearing the side effects of pain medications.
“Opioids for example, even in low doses, increases osteoporosis. There is high rate of bone fractures with that medication, and also it affects the immune system. We have been able to show cancer spreads faster in the presence of opioid,” said Panchal.
The spinal stimulation can help relieve pain from disorders like degenerative disease, nerve damage and other conditions. The stimulator is easily implanted and powered remotely.
“You’re implanting a tiny needle into the epidural space in your back and you are feeding a small plastic tube. Instead of delivering medication through the tube, we are delivering electricity to block the pain signals from traveling up to the brain.” said Dr. Panchal.
The device is not implanted permanently until it can be determined if the patient is, in fact, feeling pain relief.