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An Alternative to Opioids for Chronic Pain Management

More than 76 million people in the United States live with chronic pain, according to the National Institute of Health. Sadly, only about half of those suffering receive treatment. Opioids have long been a common treatment for those who suffer chronic pain, but as the opioid crisis sweeping the nation garners more attention, physicians are looking for safer alternatives.

Boston Scientific has developed a minimal risk approach to treating chronic pain.  Their newest device, the Precision Montage MRI Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) System treats chronic pain by administering spinal cord stimulation that interrupts the patient’s pain signal.  The system—which is composed of a series of implanted leads activated via remote control—sends signals to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord and these signals can be customized by shape, intensity, frequency and duration. Furthermore, a neural targeting algorithm built into each of the devices helps physicians make sure that all areas experiencing pain are covered.

Maulik_NanavatyPatients are encouraged to test-drive an external stimulator for a week before committing to the permanent procedure; however, once implanted the patient will still have the ability to go through a full body MRI, thanks so specially designed MRI conditional leads that leverage heat cancellation technology.

Boston Scientific hopes that the newest iteration of this stimulation therapy device will help the many chronic pain patients in need of relief. “More that 50% of our patients suffer for two to three years before their pain is adequately managed,” says Maulik Nanavaty, president of Neuromodulation at Boston Scientific. “Whatever we can do to continue to bring awareness to the therapy for pain will be a huge benefit for patients longer term.”

Abigail Ballou

Abigail Ballou

    Abby Ballou is the managing editor of MedTech Boston. She has a B.A. and M.Phil in English literature from NYU and the CUNY Graduate Center, respectively. When she isn't writing and editing for MedTech Boston, Abby enjoys reading, rock climbing, watching classic movies and listening to opera.

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