Chronic pain — which is defined as pain that lasts for 12+ weeks — affects 1 out of every 5 Americans. Chronic pain that occurs when your nerves continue to send pain signals (even if your original injury is healed) is called neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic pain can limit your quality of life and affect your ability to perform daily tasks. Here at Preva Surgicare - Surgery Center Of The Woodlands, we provide neuromodulation as a solution for chronic pain.
Below, we highlight the benefits of neuromodulation and three reasons why you might consider it as a treatment for your chronic pain.
Your nervous system helps you communicate with the outside world. For example, if you touch a hot plate, your nerves send a “hot” message to your brain. You use this information to interact with the world, and in this case, to decide to let go of the hot plate.
Nerves send a variety of sensory messages to your pain: hot, cold, uncomfortable, and even pain messages. Pain messages are particularly helpful because these messages tell your brain there is a problem — so you can address the issue. For example, pain from a splinter instructs your brain that you need to take action i.e., remove the splinter.
Neuropathic pain is problematic because nerve pain can occur even when the initial injury is gone. It is like your nerves constantly telling your brain about the splinter long after the splinter is gone. Nerve pain can also develop as a result of a health condition. For example, research shows that patients with fibromyalgia may be more likely to exhibit nerve damage.
Nerve pain can develop as a result of an injury or underlying illnesses including arthritis, herniated discs, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and complex regional pain syndrome.
Neuromodulation refers to treatments that alter your nerves in order to alleviate chronic pain. Neuromodulation doesn’t treat the underlying condition (such as fibromyalgia) but it does help alleviate the pain so that your quality of life can improve.
Neuromodulation devices work by sending mild electrical impulses to a specific nerve. These mild electrical impulses interfere with your nerve’s ability to send a pain message to the brain. The source of your pain, whether that’s arthritis or a herniated disc, is still there, but your brain just doesn’t get the “pain” message.
Neuromodulation is very customized, targeting very specific parts of your nerve. For example, we offer spinal cord stimulation, which is a type of neuromodulation used for treating chronic pain. The device is inserted into your epidural space. Lead wires are then positioned next to your nerves so that they can block pain messages to your brain. The device is implanted, and it can be controlled with a remote.
Neuromodulation may be an option for you if you’ve exhausted conservative pain management options with little to no relief. The advantages of neuromodulation include:
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, schedule a neuromodulation consultation with us. You can reach our The Woodlands, Texas office at 281-377-3706. Or, simply book an appointment online and get started on the path to relief today.