The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has reached a critical juncture. This medical device for pain management could be just what we need to combat this controversial issue. A new innovation is emerging that consists of device that helps to control pain after medical procedures. The purpose of this device it to help reduce the need for opioid medications.

Post-surgery opioid prescriptions have played a serious role in the opioid epidemic in the United States. Unfortunately, many patients continue to take these prescriptions long after they have healed from a medical procedure and no longer need them for pain management. As a result, this activity becomes an addiction that has expanded across the United States. One solution to this problem, developed by SPR Therapeutics, is a device called the SPRINT Peripheral Nerve System. This device is a 60-day implant that provides pain relief for patients who may rely on opioids as a pain relief method. Common pain areas for the use of this device include lower back pain, shoulder pain, chronic pain, and acute post-operative pain. There are other non-medication pain relief systems on the market but, many of them require invasive surgical procedures.

Other devices aimed to help pain relief may not be as effective because they can bring discomfort to patients. In fact, “Less invasive devices—which are placed on the surface of the skin and deliver the necessary treatment through electrodes— produce lower-end electrical stimulation. They are not as effective because turning up the therapeutic level can become painful for the patient.” Due to this negative effect, this method of pain relief may not be utilized often.

The SPRINT PNS system is a more convenient option that provides efficiency because it directly goes the source of pain, also known as the nerve. In fact, “The SPRINT system is a wearable stimulator connected to a wire inserted through the skin. The thread-like wire built into SPRINT is percutaneously placed through the skin via a needle introducer, where it resides in proximity to the targeted nerve that is causing the pain.”

The wire in the SPRINT device is made to be flexible in order to prevent infection. Another important aspect of this system is that it is designed for the patient to use for 60 days and then it’s removed. Many other pain management systems are designed for permanent use.

Because post-surgical pain management prescriptions have contributed to the opioid epidemic in the United States, the development of devices that provide pain relief without the need for prescription painkillers can provide a practical way to help combat this epidemic. This is a great step in the right direction for ending the opioid crisis in the United States. To read more about what is being done to combat the opioid crisis, see the source article at the RD Mag website.

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