Pain Management

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Technology Overview

There are many areas of neurotechnology in the treatment of pain. This is an overview of three basic areas of treatment that are currently available;

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or percutaneous neuromodulation units (PENS)
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • Spinal cord stimulators (SCS).
Click here for an explanation of each treatment area
  1. TENS units (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and Percutaneous Neuromodulation Units (PENS) work by delivering low level electrical stimulation through electrodes placed directly on the skin of the affected area. The electrical stimulation delivered through the skin may help alleviate pain by blocking pain messages being sent to the brain. Both systems require a physician prescription but this therapy can provide a convenient means of treating some forms of pain. Both are non-invasive and can be an economical solution.
  2. Trancranial Magnetic Stimulation Systems (TMS), is a non-invasive neuromodulatory technique which applies magnetic pulses to the brain using a ‘coil.’ An electric current is delivered to the coil, which acts as the magnetic field generator in the procedure. The generated magnetic field passes through the skull and induces an electrical current in the brain. Different coil types are used to elicit different magnetic field patterns, and using more focal points can elicit a deeper magnetic field to stimulate deeper cortical layers.
  3. Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system is a hybrid system comprised of implanted electrodes in the spine and an external control unit. It uses electrical stimulation to block the pain pathways to the brain that travel through the spinal cord. SCS has also been known to decrease spasticity. An initial trial is needed to see if effective results can be achieved. If the trial is successful, a permanent system may be implanted. The user has the ability to keep the system on permanently or as needed. Find a SCS specialist in your area is provided by our partner, Neuromodec, click here to search.

Special appreciate to Dr. Elliot Krames, MD, International Neuromodulaton Society, Dr. Thomas Keller, MD, Pacific Pain Treatment Centers and Neuromodec for their contribution creating this introduction.

These above options should be discussed with a medical professional trained in interventional pain medicine. Deep brain stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation and the use of very high frequency alternating currents as a method for blocking nerve conduction in peripheral nerves is currently under investigation. These methods might be able to provide an improved alternative for blocking pain and controlling muscle spasms. To discover more about available clinical trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov


Types of Neuropathic Pain

  • Neuropathy 
  • Neuropathic Pain 
  • Painful Peripheral Neuropathy 
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) 
More detailed descriptions and links to resources

Technology Listing

There are a variety of applications which are listed below by category. Prior to considering any new therapy, treatment or device, a proper evaluation should be conducted with a knowledgeable medical professional. There are health, medical and financial risks. Out of pocket costs and available insurance coverage for any treatment must be considered prior to starting a protocol. Also, it is key to understand that results and applications will vary depended on symptom and function limitations related to the condition. If you find something of interest, please contact the vendor directly to find a trained professional in your area.

To find a Spinal Cord Stimulation specialist in your area, click here for a search from our partners at Neuromodec



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