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Updated on March 25, 2013


The human body is a magnificent piece of engineering, of that there is no doubt.However, as we all learn early in life, a chain is only as strong as the weakest link. For many many people as they progress through life, that link turns out to be the spine and the associated back pains that afflict them. Back pain can fluctuate from mild irritation to extreme distress and can render mobility to nil in extreme cases.

From time immemorial all sorts of "miracle cures" for back pains have been profferred and peddled to the sufferer keen for anything that just might alleviate the debilitating condition emanating from the spinal area. From snake oil to genuine surgery, efforts have been made over the years with differing levels of success to aid the sufferer.

Now, using a device made in the USA, British surgeons at the world reknowned Guy"s Hospital in London, have pioneered a new implant proceedure that avoids traditional surgery in treating chronic back pain symptoms and there causes.

This new treatment offers several advanced benefits to the sufferer. Initially it offers a less invasive procedure than traditional surgery and costs less to perform. It is also said to be 200 times more powerful than previous treatments designed to stimulate the spinal cord to defuse pain. The device, named NEVRO, is a proven high frequency implant that, when in place gives virtually immediate pain relief without the "tingling" sensation associated with earlier treatments on the NHS.



In the procedure, the patient has a wire inserted to the spinal area. This wire is attached to a battery. This is inserted to the epidural space of the patient. If the pain is relieved, the wire is then removed , having by the electrical current involved .identified the core areas. The full Nevro implant can then be put in place ready for activation. This is done by a remote control which enables the patient to use the device for up to 2 hours each time. The cost is around £15,000 but before the device is introduced, patients undergo a trial so they can be aware of the benefits to themselves as individuals. If they feel a real benefit, then the full unit can be applied with the secure knowledge that it can assist the patient.

It is calculated that the device can assist a significant number of sufferers but sadly not all. Some will have undergone previous surgical operations and they made have lead to complications whilst others may have a pain area spread over too wide an area to give effective treatment. Thus, the trial activity is an important constituent here. Of those given Nevro implants, 50% achieve successful pain relief.

Additional to the implants, the Hospital also involves patients in a residential course designed to help them to reduce their pain medications and concentrate on positive actions such as relaxation and cognitive behaviour therapy. The Hospital claims there is no limit to the number of cases it can treat given the resources and also access to suitable operating theatres. The cash strapped NHS will no doubt affect that but it is still encouraging to learn of this new tratment that could be of benefit to so many sufferers.

Logically, those who suffer from the often excrutiating pain in the spinal area, have nothing to lose by consulting their GP and asking about the NEVRO IMPLANT as a means of improving their condition.


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