A brief history of Neuromodulation
Believe it or not, electricity (mainly from electric fish) was used for thousands of years to treat pain related conditions. After it became possible to store electricity (in the mid eighteenth century) its popularity grew enormously, both with dishonest practices and serious applications such as numbing pain for dental procedures.
The modern era of Neuromodulation began in the 1960’s with the first deep brain stimulation treatment which was soon followed in 1967 with the discovery of spinal cord stimulation. After the gradual realisation that pain was the result of complex damages to the nervous system and not simply the result of basic activity, it was enhanced in the publication of the ‘Gate Theory’ in 1965. As damage to the nervous system can itself cause chronic pain, there began a move away from destructive surgical treatments such as cutting nerves and towards a reversible, less invasive treatment: neuromodulation.
How does neuromodulation work?
Neuromodulation works in two ways, either by actively stimulating nerves to produce a natural biological response or by targeting the area with small doses of pharmaceutical agent.
Neurostimulation devices involve the application of electrodes to the brain, the spinal cord or peripheral nerves. These precisely placed leads connect via an extension cable to a pulse generator and power source, which generates the necessary electrical stimulation. A low-voltage electrical current passes from the generator to the nerve, and can either inhibit pain signals or stimulate neural impulses where they were previously absent.
Devices which distribute a pharmaceutical agent work by surgically implanting a programmed device which then delivers pain medicine directly into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. This is professionally planned and set up by the surgeon to accurately deliver the specified dose at the correct intervals as dictated by the patient’s physician. Once the device is successfully implanted the patient will from that day forward, not have to worry about remembering to take any medication for their pain.
The benefits of Neuromodulation
The main and most important benefit to neuromodulation therapy is that it improves peoples’ lives. The treatment provides an alternative to long-term drug therapy for the symptomatic relief of persistent chronic pain conditions, which is particularly important when existing drugs are simply ineffective or become problematic for long-term use due to tolerance development, addiction, adverse side-effects or toxicity.
Other benefits include:
- Fast Recovery Rate
- Non Invasive Treatment
- Accurately targets to Specific Areas
- Higher Success Rate
- Faster Patient Turnaround Time
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