By: Alabama News Center Staff
Twenty-one percent of adults experience chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health. For patients with chronic pain that has not been resolved by conservative treatments, physicians at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Pain Treatment Clinic at UAB Hospital-Highlands are offering a new treatment option designed to provide long-term relief.
UAB Hospital is among the first in the United States and is the first in Alabama to offer this therapy. The new treatment involves using a spinal cord stimulator that sends electrical impulses into the spinal cord. The device responds to the spinal cord in real time and can adjust the electrical output 50-100 times per second based on what is happening in the spinal cord.
“This new treatment option will allow us to continue tailoring therapy for each patient and respond to patients’ needs in a way that we have not been able to in the past,” said Dr. Christopher Paul, a physician in the clinic and assistant professor in the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. “Prior to this option, as a patient’s situation changes over time, they could be underdosed or overdosed with electrical stimulation. This would lead to the patient spending more time outside of their therapeutic window. Now we can minimize the time outside of that window and ensure their electrical output is tailored to what their body needs.”
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