Pain relief -- not in the form of a drug but a smart pager -- calling the body to respond differently to pain stimulus. For one woman it was like flipping the switch on a whole new life.
Stephanie Richardson: "Tripped and fell and then landed on the concrete floor."
"Once you've done that many replacements then you have nerve damage."
Stephanie Richardson: "Chronic pain, hard to walk. You're always limping. You're always accommodating a limp, so your whole body becomes engaged with the problem."
She survived popping pills but it was not the formula for relief.
Stephanie Richardson: "I'm a CFO, I have to crunch numbers all day. I don't have the luxury of a foggy head and I have been on that medication for years now. Your body becomes use to it then you're taking more and more. Seems like a very vicious cycle."
And just when things seemed to spin out of control, her doctor handed her a DVD.
Stephanie Richardson: "When I watched the DVD I started crying."
Seeing people experiencing the same pain was almost too much to bear. Stephanie signed up to test the neuro-stimulation device.
Stephanie Richardson: "The pain relief was so immediate. It was fascinating."
It was coming from this team of tools.
Stephanie Richardson: "So this is the device that you carry in your purse or pocket during the day. If you need to change your actual stimulation level this is what you would use to do that."
The other part is implanted.
Dr. Sandeep Amin, Pain Specialist, Rush University Medical Center: "The whole idea is we would put a device that stimulates certain portions of the spinal cord. So this basically enters like an epidural catheter, like in a pregnant lady. And it goes into one of the coverings of the spine. It sits right on the spinal cord and when you turn it on it changes the polarity of the nerve, which in turn translates into blocking pain. But it takes over the sensation of pain by a different kind of sensation. So most patients will feel like a fine buzzing, tingling sensation in the area where they normally have sharp, shooting, stabbing pain."
It works like a smart switch!
Stephanie Richardson: "It knows when I sit. It knows when I lay down. It knows what side of your body you are laying on. It memorizes what level you typically use for a particular activity. If I want to go walk on the treadmill for three minutes, as long as I set it at 9 and leave it on that while walking on the treadmill it will memorize that."
And that leaves Stephanie's mind free to think about her future!
Stephanie Richardson: "Get back out and off the couch and get to the gym. It's like a whole lease on life."
To learn more about the device, go to www.rush.edu or call 888-352-RUSH (888-352-7874)