Cutting Edge Technologies Provide Relief in Chronic Pain

Cutting Edge Technologies Provide Relief in Chronic Pain
Estimates show that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which is a number greater than the prevalence of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer combined. Many pharmaceutical and medical device companies are determined to help address this burdensome health issue, and have produced an impressive number and range of cutting-edge treatments for chronic pain. "Pain is one of the most challenging things to treat because its source can be elusive," said Richard Rosenquist, M.D., chair of the American Society of Anesthesiologists® (ASA®) Committee on Pain Medicine and chairman of the department of pain management at the Anesthesiology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. "That's why it's vital to see a physician specializing in pain medicine who can help identify the source of the pain and suggest which pain method might work best, including the more recent technical advances." One of the techniques these pain relief innovations make use of is radiofrequency (RF) ablation, which works by using radio waves to induce heat in a small area of nerve tissue, effectively "short circuiting" emitted pain signals. Through CT imaging, a specialist is guided in the insertion of a needle into the nerve and discharges electric current via radio waves. This particular method has been tested to provide pain relief for up to a year. Another technique makes use of X-ray guidance, which allows the specialist to inject a numbing agent that can reduce or eliminate the pain. The injection site for the medication will depend on the nerve source. This technique has been proven effective, but will entail a series of inje
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