Intrathecal pain pumps are among cutting edge treatments for chronic pain
Intrathecal pain pumps are implanted drug delivery systems that send small doses of pain relief medication directly to the fluid surrounding the spinal cord in order to prevent pain signals from being perceived by the brain. They are among the leading, most advanced treatments available to chronic pain patients. Intrathecal pain pumps are recommended for patients suffering from cancer pain, postlaminectomy syndrome, arachnoditis, chronic pancreatitis, etc. when conservative therapies have not provided adequate pain relief.
Benefits of intrathecal pain pumps
The intrathecal pain pump allows patients to be in control of their symptoms, while protecting them from addiction and other negative side effects. Pain pumps can be an ideal alternative for patients wanting to reduce their dependence on oral medications. Since intrathecal pain pumps deliver medication directly to the area around the spinal cord, less medicine is needed to provide the same amount of pain relief. Medication enters the system at a much faster rate, and brings relief to the patient much sooner than with oral medications. Not only is direct delivery more effective, it also reduces the risk of side effects that occur with oral pain medications such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and constipation.
Trial and permanent pain pumps
Pain pumps must be implanted surgically. Similar to spinal cord stimulation, an intrathecal pain pump requires a trial period before a permanent device can be implanted. If the trial is successful, patients can undergo the procedure to receive a permanent pain pump. The device is surgically implanted under the skin in the abdomen or back, and delivers medication through a catheter to a space around the spinal cord. The pump is programmed by a pain management specialist to release medication over a certain period of time. The physician may change its programming if the needs of the patient change.
At PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers, our pain management specialists are dedicated to helping patients reduce or eliminate pain and live their best life with a variety of treatments, including intrathecal pain pumps. Much success has been seen with the use of this treatment option, especially for patients suffering from severe pain that has been unresponsive to other therapies. If you are suffering from chronic, severe pain, speak to your pain doctor at PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers to see if you are an eligible candidate for an intrathecal pain pump.
Versan Johnson, MD is a double board certified pain management physician at PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers. To learn more, visit Dr. Versan Johnson’s profile.