Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

Nerve Pain Management

Nerve pain can be some of the most disabling pain, and in some cases some of the hardest pain to treat.  Nerve pain can be caused by a nerve injury or trauma, but some may be idiopathic, meaning there is no real identifiable cause for the nerve pain.  Nerve pain can originate at the level of the spine and this is generally treated by pain management. Symptoms may range from a general numbess to a painful numbness in the hands and feet that will limit function and lead to pain. Nerve pain relief can come from medical management, interventional management with injections or ultimately surgery.

Peripheral Nerve Injury Diagnosis & Treatment

Peripheral nerve injury can be much harder to treat.  Peripheral nerve injury can be more diffuse like a peripheral polyneuropathy, or it can be a dysfunction to a single nerve.  Diagnosis will be done by physical exam and specialized objective tests.  An Electromyography (EMG) will most likely be required to help with diagnosis.

A peripheral polyneuropathy will most likely be treated with nerve pain medication.  If there is an injury or damage to a particular nerve, this will also most likely be first line treatment as well.  If this fails to adequately control symptoms of nerve pain other more aggressive treatment can be done.  An injection can be done around the affected nerve to see if there is some symptom relief, this can be both diagnostic and therapeutic.  If there are signs of nerve entrapment the nerve can be surgically released.  After release there may still be residual neurologic symptoms.  Additionally, sometimes a release may not be possible or symptoms may not warrant a large surgical intervention.  In these scenarios a new technology has emerged.

What is Nerve Stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulators have been around for quite some time and can be very effective at controlling symptoms that come from nerve damage or entrapment at the level of the spinal cord.  Now there are different types of peripheral nerve stimulators that can be placed next to a peripheral nerve in either the arm of the leg and eliminate the nerve pain that is generated by that nerve.

How does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Work?

These devices work by providing electrical impulses to a target area in the body. These impulses are intended to interrupt or change the pain signals, inducing the feeling of tingling or numbness (paresthesia), reducing or replacing the feeling of pain.

The procedure is done with the patient awake with the area numbed with local anesthesia.  The stimulator is placed under ultrasound guidance so the proximity of the stimulator lead to the nerve can be seen to make sure the device is where it needs to be.  The device is then immediately tested to make sure that it works and placement is adequate.  This exciting new technology allows to provide substantial pain relief to patients that previously had no hope and no methods of treating their pain.

Am I a Candidate for Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?

Anyone experiencing numbness or nerve pain is a potential candidate for peripheral nerve stimulation. Evaluation would consist of diagnostic work up as well as a physical exam.

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore

If you think you suffer from a peripheral nerve injury and would like to see if this technology can help treat your pain, talk to your treating physician or book an appointment with Dr. Aron Green today.