Closing the gap between the knowledge of how to relieve unnecessary pain and the clinical practice of relieving it has long been a goal of the medical community. Closing that gap is also the goal of the Pain Center, which is staffed by WMC anesthesiologists.
Various treatment modalities are utilized to relieve pain which has not responded to other efforts to alleviate it.
Patients who come to the Pain Center are thoroughly evaluated to see if any of the
treatments offered at the center would benefit them.
Among treatments offered are a combination of oral medications, nerve blocks, implantable morphine pumps, spinal cord stimulation and referrals for special therapies.
During an initial consultation, a plan of treatment options is established. Once the course of treatment is prescribed, patients generally notice a decrease in their pain.
One of the specialties at the Pain Center is the use of spinal cord stimulators to block back and leg pain caused by common back problems, peripheral vascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Spinal cord stimulators are used to stimulate the spinal cord with low voltage electricity to block the transmission of pain impulses to the brain, thereby giving selected chronic pain sufferers the pain relief they have sought for years but could not find.
This particular treatment has been getting attention since Jerry Lewis, the comedian, has begun praising it because it helped him find relief following a 40-year battle with chronic pain.
Spinal cord stimulators are usually implanted on an outpatient basis. The three major steps to the procedure are positioning the lead to assure that the correct area of the body is receiving the stimulation, testing the stimulation to ensure that pain is being controlled, and adding the permanent power source.
Patients must be referred to the Pain Center by their physician.
For more information on the Pain Center, telephone (304) 797-6595 or 1-800-WMC-PAIN.