CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Desert Pain Specialists, Southern Utah’s most established pain clinic, has long been recognized as a pioneer in interventional pain management. Neurostimulation technology is just another way they’re redefining chronic pain treatment for the community. 

Patient waiting area at Desert Pain Specialists, St. George, Utah, September 2022 | Photo by St. George News

As medical science continues to develop exciting advancements in the treatment of chronic pain, Desert Pain is using cutting-edge implantable devices to provide long-term relief. For patients with pain conditions that are difficult to manage, peripheral nerve stimulation may hold the key to unlocking a more comfortable and functional life.

“Implantable technology has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until recent years that data showed peripheral nerve stimulation could be an option for patients with complex pain virtually anywhere in the body,” interventional pain management specialist Dr. Nate Clements said. “It’s a really good minimally invasive treatment option for chronic pain.”

Peripheral nerve stimulation may benefit patients suffering from a variety of chronic pain conditions, including back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, head and neck pain, post-surgical nerve pain, chronic headaches and neuropathy. It’s typically recommended when prior treatment methods, such as injections and medications, have failed to provide any significant relief.

The peripheral nerves run from the spinal cord to limbs and organs throughout the body. Peripheral nerve stimulators work by generating mild electrical currents that directly target the nerves in a specific area. Electrodes are placed along the length of the nerve and connected to a small, pacemaker-like battery pack implanted under the skin.

Once the stimulator is turned on, the electrical current tricks the brain into experiencing pain signals as pleasurable tingling sensations instead. A handheld remote control gives patients the ability to control the current level by turning the device on and off and adjusting stimulation parameters as needed.

Treatment room at Desert Pain Specialists, St. George, Utah, September 2022 | Photo by St. George News

“The idea is that by stimulating these nerves that send pain signals back to the spinal cord and ultimately to the brain, we can help eliminate or decrease the level of pain perceived by the patient,” Clements said.

The physicians at Desert Pain perform thorough evaluations to determine whether a patient will be a good candidate for neurostimulation. Because most peripheral nerve stimulation procedures are minimally invasive, it’s still a viable option for many patients with elevated risk factors due to pre-existing health conditions.

In most cases, peripheral nerve stimulation requires a trial to ensure the procedure is a good fit for the patient. Once the trial period is over, the patient works with their physician to determine if they experienced sufficient pain relief to recommend permanent implantation. 

Desert Pain also offers temporary non-surgical options like the SPRINT PNS System, a 60-day implant that connects to an external battery pack. Clinical trials have demonstrated that patients can experience significant pain relief lasting a year or more after removal.

However, the true measure of success lies in how well patients function on a day-to-day basis. Peripheral nerve stimulation can dramatically increase overall quality of life, allowing patients to participate in a broad spectrum of activities while reducing or eliminating their need for pain medications.

Patient waiting area at Desert Pain Specialists, St. George, Utah, September 2022 | Photo by St. George News

Desert Pain is a team of highly skilled specialists seeking to improve patient quality of life through innovative pain management solutions. The clinic stands at the forefront of treating acute and chronic pain in Southern Utah by offering patients shorter wait times and more one-on-one attention from compassionate physicians and advanced practitioners trained in the latest procedures.

“We work together as a team. We take each patient and treat you as an individual,” Clements said. “We don’t try to squeeze you into a box that you don’t fit into. We’re always trying to think outside that box and find new ways to help.”

At Desert Pain, patients aren’t simply treated. They’re seen, heard, understood and supported throughout their pain management journey. Call 435-216-7000 or visit DesertPainSpecialists.com to schedule an appointment today.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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Resources

Desert Pain Specialists | Telephone: 435-216-7000 | Email: contact@desertpainspecialists.com | Website.
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