Pain is not only a symptom associated with many ailments, but also one of the most painful chronic diseases. Remove…
You can treat pain in different ways. After all, it is not only evil, but also good. As a signal of trouble in the body, it pushes the person to ensure that he turned to the time for medical help. For a doctor, pain is a good prompter, because on the basis of where and how the patient hurts, the specialist can make diagnostic assumptions. But only acute pain is productive, and when it becomes chronic, it loses its “protective” role and turns from a benefactor into an executioner.
Not life, and torture
Such pain not only reduces the quality of human life, but makes existence unbearable. The only desire of patients suffering from debilitating pain, is the dream that the flour at least briefly subsided. Mountains of pills, the search for a wonderful method of salvation, fruitless walks from one specialist to another, unsuccessful outpatient and inpatient treatment exhaust sufferers. Sometimes the pain forced to go to extreme measures – you know that this is one of the most common causes of suicides.
According to medical research, the syndrome of a chronic pain affects up to 64% of people around the world, and among the elderly, this figure is even higher – 78%. No wonder in Europe at the III International Congress on pain, chronic pain syndrome was called the “quiet” epidemic of this century.
Every year new effective analgesics appear on the pharmaceutical market, and more and more analgesic methods are used in clinics: from the already familiar physiotherapy and reflexology to the so far outlandish psychotherapeutic techniques and hypnosis. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of treatment of patients suffering from various types of pain syndromes remains very low. This leads to frequent use of strong drugs by patients, including drugs, as well as to the occurrence of dangerous drug complications.
Close the gate!
With the development of microelectronics opened qualitatively new opportunities in the treatment of pain syndromes. Patients have a real chance with a little surgery to significantly reduce the severity of pain, and sometimes even get rid of unbearable pain and a mountain of drugs that destroy the body.
For more than 35 years, neuromodulation methods have been successfully used all over the world – minimally invasive operations associated with electrical and drug stimulation of various parts of the nervous system. They cause minimal injury to the patient and are performed using special equipment, the latest advances in neuroimaging and mathematical calculations.
The idea of neurostimulation was based on the gate theory of pain control, which was proposed in 1965 by canadian scientists R. Melzak and P. D. wall. In 1967, it was reported that percutaneous electrical stimulation was successfully used in 8 patients with chronic pain due to the location of electrodes on the skin. Unfortunately, the effect was short-lived due to the impossibility of constant stimulation. And then the scientist Shelley had the idea to implant electrodes inside the body, setting them on the back surface of the spinal cord in the epidural space – where the maximum concentration of “fast” nerve fibers, and therefore wider coverage area analgesic effect. In the 1990s, a mathematical model of neuromodulation treatment was created.
There were two-electrode implantable systems, expanded the possibilities of programming stimulators, as well as indications for their installation. The method is developed and successfully applied.
Neurostimulation has proven to be safe and highly effective in 75% of patients with chronic pain syndromes, reducing the intensity of pain by more than 60-70%, and often completely. The method is reversible, that is, if desired, the electrode can be removed, while the structures of the Central and peripheral nervous system will not be affected.
The last word is behind the electrode
Not every pain syndrome is a direct indication for neuromodulation. For example, in acute pain, this means should not be resorted to. In this case, first of all, it is necessary to carefully understand the causes of pain and provide adequate treatment. But for a long time (more than six months), the existing chronic pain is not always amenable to correction by this method. The greatest efficiency is in neuropathic and vascular types of chronic pain.