What is High-Frequency Stimulation for Back and Leg Pain?
Are you one of the quarter of people in the US who has experienced back pain in the past three months? Did you know that back pain is one of the most common medical problems in our country? Back pain, especially lower back pain, can commonly lead to leg pain as well.
High-frequency stimulation is a new treatment that can help alleviate both of these types of pain.
It’s vital to treat back and leg pain because back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work. Not to mention, back pain can impact the activities you do on a daily basis. It can affect your ability to engage in your hobbies, play with your kids or grandkids, and impact your ability even to do simple chores around the house.
You don’t have to live with this pain, though. Keep reading to learn more about high-frequency stimulation and how it can help treat your pain.
What Is High-Frequency Stimulation?
High-frequency stimulation is typically considered to be spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS uses a device placed under your skin to send mile electric currents to your spinal cord. This device stimulates the nerves in the location of your pain. The electric pulses than modify the feelings of pain and masks the pain signals before they reach your brain.
A new form of high-frequency stimulation, called HF10, has now been approved by the FDA as a way to treat chronic back and leg pain. HF10 therapy has received a superiority designation from the FDA for chronic back and leg pain. It also is able to give patients pain relief without any tingling or buzzing, which is known as paresthesia.
A lot of patients find these feelings to be uncomfortable are reluctant to do SCS because of it. HF10 therapy is a great alternative then since you don’t get any of those uncomfortable side effects. It’s also possible that SCS gives you an unexpected shock if you bend or twist wrong.
How Does It Work?
To find out if HF10 therapy is going to work for you, you can actually participate in the temporary trial use of it. If you find that it works, you can make the commitment for the implanted device.
The HF10 trial consists of a simple procedure, performed at your doctor’s office or at an outpatient surgery facility, where thin wires are placed beneath your skin, next to your spine. A temporary device that you wear under your clothes or on a belt delivers the stimulation to the wires.
You can customize it based on your pain levels, and adjust daily based on how effective it is. If you think that it’s working, and 9 out of 10 patients do, you can have a permanent HF10 device implanted.
Implanting the permanent device is also minimally invasive. This procedure is definitely preferable to traditional SCS. In traditional SCS, the patient actually has to be woken up from the sedated state to allow the doctor to determine the best placement for the device.
That’s not necessary with HF10 therapy. In this procedure, a small device is implanted under your skin, above your belt line or in the buttocks area. The device is connected to thin, flexible wires (just like the ones in your trial HF10 therapy) that are placed near the spine.
Once it’s in, you most likely get to go home the same day, and you get to control the HF10 device and can turn it off and on as you wish using a remote. This allows you to leave the device on while you drive or sleep and you can even use it in conjunction with pain medications you may be prescribed. If it’s ever necessary, the device can be removed by your doctor too.
Does It Work?
Probably the most crucial question now is: does this actually work? Patients want to know, and insurance companies certainly want to know. To test the effectiveness, the creator of HF10 therapy conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial to compare traditional SCS, which has been the most common type of high-frequency stimulation, and HF10 treatment.
Basically, this means that patients were randomly assigned to receive the traditional SCS and some patients were randomly assigned to receive HF10 therapy, and some patients received nothing. Then, all the groups were compared to see what worked.
The results showed that two times as many patients received significant pain relief from HF10 as did with traditional SCS. Almost 80% of those who had HF10 therapy for severe back and leg pain reported significant pain relief. The FDA found these results so strong that they designated HF10 therapy as superior to other SCS methods.
Two years after the study, patients who received HF10 therapy reported an average decrease in their back pain score (on a scale of 1-10) by 5 points and 60% said they were very satisfied with their treatment.
Am I A Good Candidate?
If HF10 sounds like the answer to your chronic leg and back pain, you need to find out if you’re a good candidate. Do any of the following apply to you?
- You have chronic pain in your back and legs
- You have tried other treatments, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care
- You regularly have to use medication to manage your pain
- You find that your pain keeps you from your everyday activities and work
If these describe you, you may be a good candidate for high-frequency stimulation in the form of HF10 therapy. Your doctor may also want to know more about your health history.
The Next Steps
Only a medical professional can determine if high-frequency stimulation, especially HF10 therapy, is right for you. At Executive Spine Surgery we have the right doctors to help you with your case. Once you choose us, we’ll determine the right treatment plan to help you recover from the pain.
Contact us today to take the next steps in deciding if HF10 therapy is the right choice to address your leg and back pain. Don’t go another day suffering from debilitating pain that keeps you from enjoying your life!