September 17, 2018
What Pain Has to Gain: MedTech Solutions to Acute and Chronic Pain
For millions of Americans, pain is more than a symptom; it’s an invisible illness that can devastate personal productivity and well-being. Today, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
MedTech innovators are committed to cultivating innovative and safe pain management treatments, from minimally invasive implants to sophisticated genetic testing to use-at-home mobile apps. The FDA has approved more than 200 medical devices and technologies intended exclusively to treat chronic and acute pain; hundreds of other devices on the market are capable of reducing pain in relation to specific illnesses.
As the health community recognizes Pain Awareness Month this September, we can also reflect upon the MedTech innovations that have revolutionized the way doctors and other health care providers approach pain.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)What if pain signals weren’t able reach your brain for interpretation? SCS devices are typically small pulse generators coupled with thin wires that are implanted into your body. When your body experiences pain, the wires deliver tiny electrical pulses to the acting nerves that mask the corresponding signals sent to the brain.
- Cryotherapy (Cold Therapy) Cryotherapy treatments stop pain cold in its tracks. In short, cryotherapy treatments use the body’s natural response to cold to relieve chronic and acute pain. These devices allow doctors and other healthcare provides to deliver precise, controlled doses of cold to specific nerves or nerve sites in order to halt pain signal transmission to the brain.
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS)Peripheral Nerve Stimulation offers power over pain down to a single nerve. These devices deliver tiny electrical pulses to painful nerve sites, with each site individually and independently catalogued.
- Neuromuscular Electrical StimulationThis technology uses electrical waveform to stimulate muscles, improve muscle strength, and increase range of motion. Many neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices may now be connected to smart phones, giving patients wireless, app-controlled relief in the comfort of their own homes. These apps can also collect key data points and immediately send them to the cloud, where doctors and other healthcare providers can access them to track patient progress and, if necessary, alter their treatment strategy.
11 percent of American adults suffer from chronic pain – and 1 in 4 American adults has reported experiencing an episode of pain lasting more than 24 hours. Patients and healthcare providers alike should understand the variety of MedTech treatments available in the fight against pain. They should also keep their eyes on the horizon for the innovative treatments MedTech is sure to deliver next.
Learn more about MedTech solutions to combat pain.