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Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: How it works to block pain

Advances in medicine continue to improve patients’ quality of life. One such innovation being used at National Spine & Pain Centers affiliated practices, is a device to block pain signals at the site of the pain. It provides full-body targeted pain relief without the use of drugs or surgery. A tiny device does a big job serving as a nerve-stimulation device for the relief of ongoing nerve and joint pain.

When a nerve or joint is damaged, pain signals in the area become overactive, sending out continuous warnings to the brain. This especially occurs for consistent knee, shoulder, or peripheral nerve pain. Consequently, the body feels the pain because there’s nothing to stop the nerve from sending out pain signals. The body is being told there’s pain, and there’s no way to shut down that damaged nerve or joint.

Until now.

Peripheral nerve simulation essentially blocks the nervefrom sending out constant pain signals. The peripheral nerves are the nerves found outside of the brain and spinal cord.

Stimwave is the device we use at National Spine & Pain Centers to implement the treatment. Stimwave is a type of Peripheral Nerve Stimulator (PNS) that sends electrical stimulation to targeted nerve locations outside of the spine. This is different from Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS), which send electrical impulses directly to the spinal cord.

The PNS System treats chronic pain by targeting individual nerves throughout your body. That stimulation stops the nerves signaling to the brain. No pain signal — no pain.

Here's how it works. In a minimally invasive surgery, a pain management specialist will place a tiny microchip device that delivers small energy pulses to electrodes near surrounding nerves. These pulses basically block and remap the pain signal. And that relieves the pain.

That little microchip measures between 2 cm. and 11 cm. and is implanted through a needle during an outpatient procedure. It’s powered by a battery that is worn outside the body.

We are finding the use of Stimwave reduces and even eliminates the need for pain medications and greatly improves the patients’ quality of life, which, of course, is our main goal.

If this technology sounds like something beneficial for your pain management, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists here at National Spine & Pain Centers.

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