New spinal stimulation technology more effective in reducing pain in patients with intractable spine or limb pain compared to medical treatment

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Tim Lamer

Spinal stimulation increases the odds of pain relief more than medical therapy when patients are faced with intractable spine or limb pain. This is the result of a recent study, presented in a scientific poster at the American Academy of Pain Medicine 34th Annual Meeting (26–29 April, Denver, USA).

The researchers made the following discoveries:

1) Spinal stimulation compared to medical therapy significantly increased the odds of reducing pain by 50%
2) Spinal stimulation compared to medical therapy significantly reduced pain as measured by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)
3) Using the common comparator of medical therapy, newer stimulation technology (for example, HF10, Burst, DRG) led to increased odds of pain relief compared to conventional spinal stimulation

The study investigators say their research and poster intends to increase awareness about spinal stimulation as an option to treat chronic pain.

“Given the national opioid crisis, patients, physicians, policy makers, and payers are asking about viable alternatives to treat intractable pain. Spinal stimulation has demonstrated efficacy in a variety of difficult to manage chronic pain conditions,” says Tim Lamer (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA), who led the research.

Lamer continues, “Our study is a comprehensive systematic review of the spinal stimulation literature spanning the past 30 years. We included only the highest quality studies consisting of randomised controlled trials. The results of our systematic review are that randomised controlled trials have demonstrated effectiveness and significantly greater odds of pain improvement with spinal stimulation compared to medical therapy in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, and pain in the setting of failed spine surgery.”

“Recently published studies have shown that newer spinal stimulation technology such as dorsal root ganglion stimulation and Hf10 spinal stimulation compared to conventional spinal stimulation may have even greater success in achieving pain relief in properly selected patients.”

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