Neuromodulation is one of the fastest-growing areas of medicine, involving many diverse specialties. These therapies work by interrupting pain signals before they reach your brain. They can help with non-opioid pain relief – even when other therapies have failed.
Main Line Spine’s Neuromodulation Pain Management services provide patients with an opportunity to regain their quality of life using the latest advances in neural stimulator technologies. We work with each patient to develop personalized and practical approaches for the non-opioid management of their pain.
Why Main Line Spine for Neuromodulation Procedures?
Few practices perform more neuromodulation procedures each year than Dr. Jeffery Rowe at Main Line Spine. He is also nationally and internationally known for successfully handling the most challenging neuromodulation cases – often finding ways to provide a patient with pain relief when other physicians and surgeons are out of treatment options. This extensive experience yields a superior track record of patient outcomes.
If there is a way that neurostimulation can help you alleviate your pain, Main Line Spine will find it.
The modern era of neuromodulation dates back to 1967, when Dr. Norman Shealy, a neurosurgeon, implanted the first device to relieve intractable pain. Many credit his work as ushering in a new era for chronic pain management.
There have been significant advances in Neuromodulation technology in recent years, including improved battery technology, Bluetooth communication with the battery and programmer, advanced programming capabilities, prolonged battery life, and paresthesia-free pain relief.
How Neuromodulation Systems Work
Most neuromodulation systems for pain management work by using electrical stimulation to disrupt or modulate pain impulses carried in the spinal nerves and spinal cord.
Different types of neuromodulation systems are recommended based on each patient’s needs. They include:
- Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) systems: Systems consisting of leads (or wires) that are placed in the epidural space just outside the spinal cord. These leads are attached to a small generator device with a battery that is implanted under the skin.
- Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) systems: A type of spinal stimulator used to treat focal neuropathy pain with leads placed close to the dorsal root ganglion. This treatment became first available in 2016.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) systems: A type of neuromodulation treatment system that directly stimulates a peripheral nerve affecting a focal area of the body.
All of these devices deliver frequent, low-voltage electrical impulses, which modulate pain signals as they transit to the brain. These impulses are often described as feeling like a gentle tingling or buzzing. In past decades there have been significant advances in neuromodulation hardware and technology. Patients now increasingly report a better ability to control their pain while feeling less of the vibrations.
While spinal cord stimulation and dorsal root ganglion systems are typically most appropriate for chronic pain, peripheral nerve stimulation systems can be effective with both acute as well as chronic pain.
A trial stimulation period is typically conducted before permanently implanting most neurostimulation devices. During this trial period, which usually will last 3 to 10 days, the focus is on whether the device is providing satisfactory pain relief and that each patient is comfortable with how it operates and feels.