“Drug Pump” Provides Pain Relief and Lowers Drug Dependency

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From: North American Neuromodulation Society 4700 W. Lake Avenue Glenview, IL 60025 http://www.neuromodulation.org

The goal of a drug pump is to better control your symptoms and reduce requirements for oral medications. By diminishing or relieving pain and removing the side effects from orally taken medicine, patients are able to improve the quality of their lives.

September is Pain Awareness Month and the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) with the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) are educating the public to the benefits and risks of different pain treatments.

For chronic pain sufferers the “pain pump”, called by physicians a spinal drug-delivery system, may be an option. This is a drug-delivery system that directs extremely small and precise doses of medicine to the spinal fluid, which bathes the spinal cord. This is accomplished through an implanted pump and spinal catheter. These implantable devices provide pain relief with a miniscule fraction (1/300th) of the medication otherwise needed, if taken orally. These devices are removable should the pain problem resolve (i.e. this treatment is reversible).

Dr. Joshua Prager, a member of both NANS and ASIPP, stated, “The goal of a drug pump is to better control your symptoms and reduce requirements for oral medications. By diminishing or relieving pain and removing the side effects from orally taken medicine, patients are able to improve the quality of their lives.”

Some conditions that respond well to the pain pump are: failed back surgery syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Arachnoiditis and chronic pancreatitis. These pumps also provide excellent relief to cancer patients; and in one study, patients receiving this improved form of pain relief lived longer and had better pain control compared with standard medication management. A pump can also help lessen spasticity (muscle rigidity and spasms that make movement of the arms and legs difficult) caused by: Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, brain or spinal cord injury.

What is a pain pump?

  •     The system is comprised of a small pump that is surgically placed under the skin and delivers medication through a catheter to the fluid bathing the spinal cord.
  •     The pump is programmed to slowly release medication on a continuous basis. It can also be programmed to release varying amounts of medication at different times of the day, depending on the specific needs of that patient. Because the medication is delivered directly to the spinal cord, symptoms can be controlled with much smaller doses than is needed with oral medication.

All pain evaluations should be undertaken by a board certified physician and pain management specialist. To find a qualified pain management physician in your area go to http://www.asippmembersite.org/Search/Search.php.

About the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS):
The North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) is dedicated to being the premier organization representing neuromodulation. NANS promotes multidisciplinary collaboration among clinicians, scientists, engineers, and others to advance neuromodulation through education, research, innovation and advocacy. Through these efforts NANS seeks to promote and advance the highest quality patient care. http://www.neuromodulation.org/

About The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians
ASIPP’s mission statement is to promote the development and practice of safe, high quality, cost-effective Interventional Pain Management techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders, and to ensure patient access to these interventions. Founded in 1998 by Chairman of the Board and CEO Laxmaiah Manchikanti, MD, ASIPP is a rapidly growing not-for-profit organization that supports the access to interventional techniques and the needs of physicians who practice accountable Interventional Pain Management across the country.

Since its inception, the organization has had substantial impact on the practice of Interventional Pain Management, resulting in an impressive list of major achievements. In 2005, ASIPP succeeded in passing The National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER), which provides and improves patient access to quality care, and protects patients and physicians from the deleterious effects of controlled substance misuse, abuse and trafficking. ASIPP currently has 4,500 members. For more information, visit http://www.asipp.org or call 270.554.9412. Ext. 215.

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Eve McGrath
Rubenstein Public Relations
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