For more than 40 years, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has managed chronic pain. As a minimally invasive form of nuerostimulation therapy, SCS controls chronic pain in the arms, legs, back and neck of patients who suffered an injury or resulting from Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. BurstDR stimulation is a new form of nuerostimulation designed by St. Jude Medical that is revolutionizing the way doctor’s treat chronic pain.
BustDR involves a doctor implanting a small device that powers thin wires along the spinal cord. The device interrupts pain signals from being transmitted to the brain through the use of low level electrical energy. The following video by St. Jude Medical gives a brief look at what BurstDR stimulation entails:
St. Jude Medical is the only company that offers both BurstDR stimulation and traditional nuerostimulation. These two options offer a greater opportunity to achieve success. While traditional SCS uses tonic stimulation, BurstDR uses burst stimulation. This innovative technology is revolutionizing the way neurostimulation is achieved.
SCS therapy traditionally uses tonic stimulation to deliver electrical energy that interrupts the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Patients often note a tingling sensation throughout their body as mild pulses are sent to the brain. This feeling is called paresthesia.
Traditional neurostimulation is actually quite effective. Up to “77 percent of patients” believe their spinal cord stimulator treats their pain.¹ However, practitioners now understand that effective coverage of chronic pain needs alternative stimulation to achieve a higher level of success.
BurstDR delivers rapid pulses of electrical energy to a patient’s spinal cord to manage chronic pain. This new form of therapy may be the best option for patients whose pain is not yet controlled by an SCS and for patients whose pain is not adequately controlled by their current SCS. BurstDR is also able to deliver therapy with little-to-no paresthesia and may be more effective than tonic stimulation.
Will Neurostimulation Cure My Pain?
It should be noted that spinal cord stimulators are not a cure for pain, but rather is a therapy that helps manage and reduce pain. The goal is to bring each patient’s pain to a level where they can perform everyday actives pain free.
What is the Difference Between Traditional Nuerostimulation and BurstDR Stimulation?
As mentioned above, BurstDR stimulation is different from traditional neurostimulation in one large aspect. While traditional stimulators use a small device to replace pain sensations with a tingling or massaging feeling, BurstDR is designed to mimic natural pain management. A small generator mimics natural brain patterns to modify pain signals and change the way your body perceives pain. With BurstDR most patients do not feel any sensation.
Will I Be Able To Reduce My Pain Medications?
Since every patient responds differently to treatments, one form of therapy never works for each patient. However, with BurstDR many patients are able to decrease the number of pain prescriptions they take daily. Other patients are able to completely remove prescribed pain medications all together.
As always, please consult with one of our physicians for specific medication questions.
Will I Have Any Limitations?
To a certain extent, you may be limited. However, this is quite common after any type of procedure. Each patient meets with one of our doctors to discuss what restrictions they should follow after surgery.
Nevertheless, there is a general rule that you should restrict the amount of bending, reaching, and twisting you do for six to eight weeks post surgery. This restriction is usually lifted after this time.