Wearable Nerve Stimulator Improves Chronic Pain
LAS VEGAS — A noninvasive wearable nerve stimulator improves pain to the point of needing less analgesia in patients with neuropathy, arthritis, and other common forms of chronic pain, a new study shows. “Our data suggest, and this is mimicked anecdotally, that this device works for about eight out of 10 people,” said Shai Gozani, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer, NeuroMetrix, manufacturer of the device.
Dr Gozani presented the company funded study here at PAINWeek 2015. The device (Quell, NeuroMetrix) was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2014.
The stimulator, inserted into a slim, lightweight band and worn on the upper calf, stimulates sensory nerves, which carry neural pulses to the brain. The pulses trigger release of endogenous opioids within the spinal cord. “It elevates endogenous opioids, so it’s actually operating through some of the same pathways as opioids,” explained Dr Gozani. “But because it’s all endogenous, it’s very precise and doesn’t have some of the negative side effects of prescription opioids such as addiction or euphoria; this is purely for pain control.”
The class 2 medical device is the first of its kind and recently became available over the counter.
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