Baptist Health Louisville: Treating Chronic Pain
Doctors Kristal Wilson, MD, and Darel Barnett, MD, outline new options for treating chronic pain, including advanced technologies and therapies such as spinal cord stimulation.
Treating Chronic Pain Health Talks Transcript
Kristal Wilson, MD, Pain Management
A lot of people think that their chronic pain is something they have to live with, something they have to deal with, something that nobody can help them with. It leads to a lot of other social aspects and psychological aspects in their life suffering, because when you have chronic pain, it’s not only a painful state, but it affects you and your entire family, it affects your income. The people that are living with chronic pain first have to know that there’s help out there. There are not just pharmacological options. A lot of people think they don’t want to be on pain medications for the rest of their life so they don’t seek help. There are plenty of options, from conservative therapy all the way up to interventions, up to implantable devices and neuromodulation and everything in between.
Darel Barnett, MD, Pain Management
One of the procedures that we do is a spinal cord stimulation implant. Spinal cord stimulation is a therapy in which we place an electromagnetic field on the nerves inside the spinal column. It allows us to, in essence, place an electrical shield that impairs the flow of pain signal from the body up to the brain. Nerves are, in essence, wires connecting electrical signals. So, if we can modify those signals with our own signals, we’re able to block pain and block the brain’s perception of pain. The therapies that we have available are helping patients to get back to a normal quality of life.