According to a new survey from Boston Scientific of people with chronic pain, nearly half in Florida aren’t satisfied with their current treatment or therapies.
Published: December 15, 2020
Chronic pain can be life-changing. Broward County resident Carlos Rodriguez can relate. As a former police officer, his pain developed after an on-duty accident, involving a stolen vehicle, causing injury in his leg. Rodriguez tried multiple surgeries, which didn’t provide relief, and he said he couldn’t function while taking prescription medications.
The pain was so debilitating that he couldn’t walk, much less live his active lifestyle as a father and sports aficionado. “Pain is debilitating not just physically, but mentally and emotionally because there’s no escaping it.”
According to the CDC, more than 50 million chronic pain sufferers nationwide are struggling with pain that lasts for six months or longer without finding relief.
One of the most common reasons that adults seek medical care, chronic pain has been linked to restrictions in mobility and daily activities, dependence on opioids, anxiety and depression, and reduced quality of life. Unfortunately, less than half of those surveyed in Florida are aware of drug-free, minimally-invasive, interventional therapies helping patients such as Rodriguez.
Rodriguez sought help from a pain management specialist – a doctor specially trained to address acute and chronic pain. That’s when he learned about spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS is an FDA-approved implanted medical device that interrupts pain signals from reaching the brain. Unlike some surgical procedures, it can be personalized to an individual’s needs and is reversible. Patients undergo a trial period, allowing them to evaluate and adjust the pain relief delivered before deciding to receive a permanent implant.
Initially, Rodriguez didn’t know much about this treatment, but after completing his trial and full implantation with the Boston Scientific Spectra WaveWriter SCS System, he champions it. “Before SCS, my pain forced me to give up my active lifestyle, which was hard. Now there are very few limitations on what I can do,” says Rodriguez, who is back to coaching his son’s high school football team.
“The experience of chronic pain is complex and unique to every person. But pain management specialists have many tools in our arsenal that can provide adequate, lasting, personalized pain relief,” says Dr. Louis Raso, a pain specialist and owner of an interventional pain management practice in Florida.
The new survey found that 92 percent of chronic pain sufferers in Florida would try an FDA-approved, drug-free alternative to help manage chronic pain, but nearly half have ever seen a pain specialist. Dr. Raso notes that for patients with chronic pain in the lower back, legs and feet, SCS offers a personalized experience that can treat multiple pain areas simultaneously.
For those suffering from moderate lumbar spinal stenosis, interspinous spacers may relieve pain and discomfort in the lower back, legs, groin and buttocks. Alternatively, radio frequency ablation delivers a small current to interrupt pain signals at the source. Individual results may vary.
To find a local pain management specialist and learn more about chronic pain, visit www.pain.com.