What Is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?
Peripheral nerves are located outside the brain and spinal cord. They include:
- Motor nerves, which allow for muscle movement
- Sensory nerves, which register pain in the body
- Autonomic nerves, which control involuntary physiological processes, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure
Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) can be used to treat chronic pain.
With PNS, a peripheral nerve stimulator is placed within your body next to the peripheral nerves that are causing the pain. The peripheral nerve stimulator implant sends out electrical pulses to those nerves, blocking the pain signals and essentially changing the way the brain perceives the pain.
At Advanced Relief Institute, we offer:
- Nalu peripheral nerve stimulation
- Bioness StimRouter® PNS systems
How Is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Done?
You will first need to schedule a consultation at Advanced Relief Institute. There, you will discuss your issues with one of our highly trained team members, who will evaluate your conditions to make sure that peripheral nerve stimulation is the right choice for you. This evaluation will include making sure that you have tried other pain management options, including medication and physical therapy.
Once peripheral nerve stimulation is recommended, your treatment appointment will be scheduled.
For the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic.
Peripheral nerve stimulation uses very mild electrical impulses to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain. These electrical impulses are minor; some patients are not aware of them, whereas some patients may feel a mild tingling sensation.
To place the peripheral nerve stimulation device, thin wires (known as leads) are placed beneath the skin very close to the affected pain nerves. These leads are connected to the micro implantable pulse generator (micro-IPG) and, together, these devices can interrupt pain signals before they travel to the brain.
The procedure takes less than an hour, and there is no downtime.
What Are the Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?
Besides treating and improving the level of pain in your body, the positives of peripheral nerve stimulation include:
- Being an outpatient procedure
- No downtime associated with the procedure
- Minimal to no scarring, since the implant will be placed either through an injection or a small incision
- No battery used in the implant, which means never having to change the battery
Is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Pain Right for Me?
Peripheral nerve stimulation is not for everyone. However, if you have chronic pain coming from a specific peripheral nerve and you have exhausted all other options, including over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, injections, and nerve blocks, then peripheral nerve stimulation may be the answer for you.
It is important to note that peripheral nerve stimulation will not completely erase your pain. However, the pain may be lessened to a much more manageable level so that you can think about other things in your life.