The same motion sensor technology found in iPhones and the Wii Fit can now help ease chronic back pain.
In November, the FDA approved a neuro-stimulation system that mimics the activity of a pacemaker, but instead of regulating heartbeats, it interrupts pain signals being sent to the brain.
One of the first recipients of the new motion sensor device is a North Texas man whose pain has virtually disappeared. “It helps quite a bit,” says Thomas Peoples, a patient at the Texas Back Institute in Plano. He received an implanted pain stimulation device that works on the same motion sensor platform imbedded in most smart phones and modern video gaming devices.
“(The device) will sense the posture of the patient,” says TBI Spine Surgeon Ralph Rashbaum, M.D. “and then adjust the intensity of the stimulation…automatically.”
According to Peoples, “It’s a lot more convenient not having to adjust it all the time.”
“It’s a real breakthrough that helps patients get back to their normal lives,” says Medtronic VP Julie Foster. Using advanced implant technology, spinal cord surgeons are able to place tiny electrodes near the spinal cord. They recognize and remember the correlation between body position and the amount of stimulation needed to govern pain. The result? Instantaneous pain relief.
Traditional stimulators have not been able to adjust pain management to accommodate a patient on the go. The new device, called AdaptiveStim™ with RestoreSensor™, helps treat the symptoms of chronic back pain by automatically recognizing and remembering the connection between a change in body position and the required level of stimulation. It also records and stores the frequency of posture changes, providing feedback to surgeons and technicians monitoring the patient’s recovery.
“This is a big leap forward,” says Dr. Rashbaum. “I am very proud of being included in the forefront of the clinical application of this device.”
An estimated 116 million American adults - more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined - suffer from chronic pain.
For more information, contact Jaclyn McDaniel at the Texas Back Institute 214-642-7566 or 972-608-5000.