"I'm paying less now for prescriptions," locally available pain relief technology cuts need for pain meds

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) - Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies says 100-million people live with chronic pain of various degrees.
One local doctor is trying to ease some of the suffering with new technology and without the use of powerful opioid medications.
News13 sat in as patient did a trial with a new device that uses spinal cord stimulation to mask the pain for people who suffer from things like lower back problems or shingles.
A battery pack with wires attached to the spine uses vibrations to send a new message to the brain, so the pain is not registered.
Patients go though a 10 day trial to see if it works, before getting the device implanted permanently.
The technology has been around since the 70's but neurologist Dr. Jason Rosenberg says the latest device called Senza is different.
First available this past summer, Dr. Rosenberg said it eliminates some side effects, like feeling a vibration sensation that can be unpleasant for some people.
It also can potentially work for folks who tried the old devices without relief because it has a higher success rate than the older technology.
"So much so that Medicare creates a premium or pays a premium to the facilities like a hospital or surgery center for doctors to implant this device," said Dr. Rosenberg.
Patient Robert Moreau had been suffering from chronic pain in his legs and feet for years.
The pain kept him from being able to do regular tasks around the house and limited the work he was able to do.  He said he was able to get back to a normal routine with the new device.
"And I haven't taken any pills, any pain killers since I got the implant, and I'm paying less now for prescriptions," said Moreau.
Dr. Rosenberg said the implant is not for all types of pain; for example, it will not work for people who suffer from things like osteoarthritis.
It's important  to visit your doctor to see which treatments are best for you.

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