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Revolutionary interventional pain treatment breakthrough

Traditionally, conservative treatments such as medication including opioids, physical therapy, psychological treatment, and in some cases surgery might have once been the only options or the patients were told to go and live with the pain .

This was before revolutionary advances, based on the fact that the body is a complex bio-electrical-mechanical system. Pain signals transmitted via electrical impulses into the spinal cord and then into higher brain centres for us to perceive pain, in combating the body’s own electrical impulses the idea of using electricity to fight the pain has been experimented for decades if not centuries.

Egyptians used electromagnetic fish to treat a variety of pain conditions. In more recent times the use of electrical impulses via spinal cord stimulation, (where nerves intersect), to block pain signals to the brain has been tested and proven to be an effective way of combating chronic pain. Majority of these devices were able to deliver lower frequencies where pain was replaced by tingling, of course this was not effective for many , nor tolerable for some.

In the last week there has been another significant advance with an Australian first implantation of a device at Sydney Adventist Hospital, a device that for the first time enables the delivery of a range of electrical impulses from as low as  2 hertz ( in strength) to 10,000 hertz – and all the levels in between.

This new device can be used to treat a wider range of pain – pain caused by back or nerve problems, sciatica, diabetic neuropathy, abdominal pain, pelvic pain or cancer and published reports from its overseas usage suggest it can reduce pain by up to 80%, and in up to 80% of the people who use it.

Specialist interventional pain physician Dr Vahid Mohabbati, who did the implantation of the device at the San on a woman in her early 40’s who was debilitated by chronic back and leg pain despite multiple back surgery, joins Luke Grant to discuss the revolutionary therapy.

Download this podcast here

Luke Grant