The following is a repost from: St. Jude Medical PULSE Blog: Neuro Regional MD – NanostimTM Leadless Pacemaker/SCS
For many people, traditional treatments don’t address chronic pain – a condition that impacts as many as 100 million Americans. Nomen Azeem, MD, Interventional Pain Management physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, provides insights on how he helps patients find relief through technological advances in spinal cord stimulation.
Despite the large number of people who battle chronic pain, many remain unaware of the treatment options available to patients once physical therapy, chiropractic care, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications have reached their limit. This results in many patients simply suffering in silence, unsure where to turn for meaningful relief from their pain.
National Pain Awareness Month is designed to help shed light on the problem, and raise awareness of potential therapies available to patients battling chronic pain.
The numbers may surprise you, but chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. The condition can negatively impact personal relationships, daily routine and work productivity. Often, someone is determined to be suffering from chronic pain if their pain lasts for three to six months.
For many patients, the road to effective management of their chronic pain can be complex and can include prescription medications, over-the-counter products, lifestyle modifications and physical therapy. But when those options have been exhausted and the pain continues, many people aren’t sure where to turn.
Nomen Azeem, M.D., is a pain specialist with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates in Sarasota, FL. Every day, he treats people with chronic pain and helps them find relief based on their individual clinical needs. According to Dr. Azeem, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and therapies such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can offer some patients meaningful pain relief, but some patients arrive to his clinic unaware that these options exist.
A renowned SCS expert, Dr. Azeem was the first doctor in Florida to implant the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRITM chronic pain system, and has a great deal of experience with SCS therapy and the technology behind the treatment. Dr. Azeem recently shared his insights on the use of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain.
What is neurostimulation?
Azeem: Neurostimulation, also known as spinal cord stimulation (SCS), is an advanced therapy option used to manage intractable chronic pain in the arms, legs and trunk, and pain caused by failed back surgery.
What is a spinal cord stimulator and how does it work?
Azeem: An SCS system involves a small device (approximately the size of a silver dollar) along the spinal cord that emits low intensity electrical pulses that intercept the body’s pain signals before they reach the brain, replacing feelings of pain with a more pleasant tingling sensation.
What new technology is available for patients considering an SCS implant?
Azeem: Earlier this year, the FDA approved the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRI™ chronic pain system, which is an important advancement for physicians because it allows people with chronic pain to remain eligible for MRIs of their head and extremities if required by their physician. The technology is also upgradeable, which means that as new therapies or software upgrades are approved, patients can access those upgrades through software updates and not repeat surgical procedures.
What do you want people to know about SCS and how it can help them?
Azeem: Spinal cord stimulation is an important option for patients who have not been able to alleviate their chronic pain through traditional methods, such as back surgery or prescription medications. Studies have shown SCS can reduce pain by 50 percent or more for many patients, and patients have the option to try a temporary implant to see if they’re comfortable with the therapy.1
Note: Patients interested in learning more about SCS therapy and the Protégé MRI chronic pain system should visit www.poweroveryourpain.com for more information or to find a chronic pain physician in their area.
The implantation of a neurostimulation system can involve risk, such as painful stimulation, loss of pain relief and surgical risks (e.g., paralysis). Patients are encouraged to talk to a physician to determine if SCS therapy is right for them.
For an appointment with Dr Azeem at any of our three locations, (Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch/Venice) please call 941.951.2663. We offer same day appointments when necessary. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.