Millions of Americans wake up to chronic pain every day, which presents significant quality-of-life issues. If you figure among this unfortunate group, your goal is relief, and you’ve likely encountered some frustration trying to achieve it. While medications can help, they aren’t terribly good long-term solutions, which is why we offer alternatives, including peripheral nerve stimulators.
At Apollo Pain Management, our team understands all too well the struggle our patients face on a daily basis. When it comes to chronic pain, the solutions range from highly invasive to spot treatments, which is why we offer treatments that fall in between, such as peripheral nerve stimulation.
Here’s a look at how peripheral nerve stimulators work to treat some types of chronic pain.
Peripheral nerve stimulation is by no means a new treatment, as pain management specialists have been using the technique since the 1960s. With peripheral nerve stimulation, we locate the nerve that’s sending the pain signals to your brain and disrupt the messaging through electrical impulses.
When we say “peripheral” nerves, this encompasses any nerve in your body outside of your central nervous system, which is your brain and spinal cord. If you consider that the human body has several hundred peripheral nerves, you can see there’s ample opportunity for one to go awry and send pain signals.
Through peripheral nerve stimulation, we’ve had great success treating patients who suffer from:
What many of these conditions have in common is that we’re able to identify the nerve responsible for sending the pain signals, allowing us to target it directly with a stimulator.
If we decide that a peripheral nerve stimulator may bring you much-needed relief, we start by testing to make sure we target the correct nerve. To do this, we place temporary electrodes in the areas where we think they’ll have the greatest effect. If your pain subsides, we set you up with a more permanent system.
During a minimally invasive surgery, we place the electrode near the nerve that’s causing your pain. An external battery that you can wear under your clothes powers the electrode.
You have full control over the small unit, which means you can turn it off or on, as well as increase or decrease its energy. This also means that you may not need to wear the power pack for more than a few hours a day.
When you first start using your peripheral nerve stimulator, you may feel a tingling in the area, which is perfectly normal as the rapid electric pulses are delivered. Most of our patients quickly get used to the sensation, which is far better than the pain they were feeling.
To determine whether a peripheral nerve stimulator is right for your unique situation, please contact our office in Sun City Center, Florida.