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New Ways to Control Pain

New Ways to Control Pain

If you are living with acute or chronic pain, you want the treatment you receive to not only be effective but also up-to-date. Mostly gone are the days of extremely invasive procedures that can take hours to perform and ages for recovery. Instead, pain management has started to trend towards minimally invasive and high-tech methods to confront pain at its source. Read on to learn about some of the latest medical innovations for pain control.

Radiofrequency Ablation and Nerve Stimulation

Both of these treatments are next-level creations in the field of pain medicine. They harness the power of radio waves and electric signals to target pain. Radiofrequency ablation can help manage pain because it uses radio waves to disrupt the pain signals traveling to your brain. One of the perks of this approach is its ability to produce results for months after treatment, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists states that “Pain relief can last for up to one year.” Nerve stimulation treatments use electrical signals to target pain. As with radiofrequency ablation, results can improve over time and have long-lasting effects. MedlinePlus, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health, states that there are 3 different types of electrical stimulation, “transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), implanted electric nerve stimulation, [and] deep brain or spinal cord stimulation.”

Pain Pumps

Pain pump implants are another unique development in the field of pain management. Although they have been around for a while as a pain treatment option, the efficiency of the procedure and the results have advanced over time. The pain pump is placed beneath the skin, and a specialized device is directed toward the source of pain. The pump can send medication directly into the affected area, providing a chance for faster relief than other medications. The best part about the pumps is that they can be programmed to release exact dosages at exact intervals. This eliminates the guesswork that can go into medication administration and provides ongoing pain control. They are a possible treatment for neuropathic (nerve) pain, which is notoriously difficult to target. An article featured by WebMD adds that pain pumps can also prove helpful for “post-traumatic or post-surgical pain as well as terminal cancer pain.”

Spinal Cord Stimulation

It may once have seemed a crazy idea to implant anything near the spine that generates electricity. But now it’s a procedure that can help those with failed back surgery syndrome, also known as a post-laminectomy syndrome. A device that generates electrical signals is implanted into the patient, and a series of threadlike leads are strategically placed around the spinal column. These leads send out electrical pulses that replace the pain with a gentler sensation. Spinal cord stimulators can start as a temporary implant and move to a permanent implant if it proves successful for the patient.

Looking to the Future

As medical experts continue exploring pain management and control, more and more are turning to the possibilities of stem cell therapy. Stem cell research has expanded exponentially in recent years. However, additional research and investigation are necessary to determine if this will truly be the next great advancement in pain treatment.
As you look to find ways to confront your acute or chronic pain, you can rely on the Center for Pain Management for help. Our highly trained physicians and staff not only have experience with these innovative therapies but also administer them on a regular basis. Each of our Indiana pain clinics features an ambulatory surgical center where you can go for these new and advanced outpatient procedures. Are you ready for more control over your pain? Then call us at 317-706-7246.