Pain Management Therapy Training with Med Ed Labs
With the current opioid epidemic, the medical industry has been working very diligently to find better methods to treat chronic back pain. One current therapy that has seen excellent results in evidence-based studies, is non-pharmacologic neuromodulation. This cutting edge, innovative therapy is used for the treatment of chronic pain using spinal cord stimulation (SCS).
Clinical data has shown that this modern treatment method helps reduce chronic lower back pain without using opioid-based medications to treat patients.
MED ED LABS offers many physician training labs for non-pharmacologic neuromodulation for the treatment of chronic pain using spinal cord stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
This the most-established member of the family of therapies known as neuromodulation. Neuromodulation is defined by the International Neuromodulation Society as therapeutic interaction with the central, peripheral or autonomic nervous system for therapeutic effect by means of targeted electrical stimulation or pharmacological delivery from implanted devices. The uses for SCS continue to evolve and grow.
Why Is Pain Important?
Pain is integral to life; it is a critical component of the body’s natural defense system, signaling threats to the body and provoking self-preservation behaviors to further survival. Pain often signals an urgent need to act (e.g., to flee, strike back, or otherwise respond aggressively to a threat), significant pain is typically associated with strong feelings (e.g., combinations of fear, anxiety, anger, or rage).
Pain can also occur in the absence of any discernible threat or identifiable tissue damage, due to alterations in the body’s normal neural processing. It is not uncommon to encounter distressed patients complaining about pain for which there is no clear origin.
The Problem with Pain and Opioid Use
Pain can become complicated when it occurs with an addictive disorder, particularly in a patient using opioids for pain control. The initial evaluation and treatment plan for a patient using opioids may present a complex clinical challenge for care providers and cause considerable frustration and prolonged suffering for the patient. As in all instances, these complaints of pain must be taken seriously and carefully evaluated. Pain alone can impair health, function, and quality of life.
Addiction professionals are able to contribute valuable perspective and skills to the care of addicted patients, especially if they possess a working understanding of pain’s mechanisms, evaluation and management, and interrelationships with substance use.
What are the benefits of pain management therapy training?
This is an area of medical treatment that is bound to explode, as the country seeks alternatives to medicating patients with more and more drugs. The opioid crisis is just a sign of a troubling trend in the U.S., where the population takes more prescription drugs than people in any other country.
Reckoning with this creates opportunities in areas for treating pain without prescription drugs. Neuromodulation through spinal cord stimulation will be one of those areas. There will be a real need for providers trained in this form of pain management.
What is non-pharmacological neuromodulation?
This is pain therapy without the use of prescription pain medication. Therapeutic neuromodulation is the alteration of nerve activity through the targeted delivery of a stimulus. At Med Ed Labs, we focus our training on the stimulus of spinal cord stimulation.
In this form of neuromodulation, mild electric currents are applied to the spinal cord through small medical devices. This electrical stimulation can modulate the body’s pain signals, replacing them with a mild tingling sensation known as paresthesia. If the patient responds to spinal cord stimulation initially through a device worn outside the body, an implanted system is then placed through minimally invasive surgery.
What does pain management therapy training entail?
- Learn how spinal cord stimulation is used.
- Learn how pain signals respond to treatments, from drugs to spinal cord stimulation.
- Learn the two-stage process of implementing neuromodulation with spinal cord stimulation.
- Learn how to enter the epidural space above the spinal canal with an x-ray guided needle.
- Learn how to thread the electrical leads into the epidural space.
- Learn how to test the electrode position to deliver the tingling sensation through patient feedback.
- Learn the ins and outs of the external pulse generator, which is usually worn for seven days on the patient’s belt.
- Learn how to judge the effectiveness of the spinal cord stimulation for managing the patient’s pain.
- Learn about the implantable spinal cord stimulation device.
- Learn how to implant the power source of this device under the skin.
- Learn how to monitor function once the device is implanted.
Who are candidates for spinal cord therapy training?
Neurosurgeons and doctors who specialize in pain management are prime candidates for adding this form of pain management therapy to their skill set. Seeing as how spinal cord stimulation is a relatively new option for treating chronic pain, many doctors and surgeons never received training in this form of pain management.