UAB among first in Alabama to offer new treatment for chronic pain

This unit appears to be just a “re-invented” T.E.N.S. unit or SCS.  We stocked T.E.N.S. units when we had our pharmacy and Home Medical Equipment (HME) business… and a T.E.N.S. unit that uses topical electrodes and some sort of gel on the electrodes to transfer the electrical impulses thru the skin in an attempt to interrupt the nerves impulses to the brain and hopefully the brain will not get a “pain signal” from some area in the body.  The pts that we provided T.E.N.S. units to did not have all that good a long term experience.  We have also read many a horror story about pts and their experiences with implanted SCS. On top of all this, this device/treatment is recommended to be used for 60 days.

UAB among first in Alabama to offer new treatment for chronic pain

Stream UAB pain clinicThe temporary PNS device can be used to treat chronic nerve pain, as well as joint pain and back pain, for patients for whom oral medications are not effective, or who wish to minimize the use of medications or more invasive procedures.Pain can be debilitating with frustrations that reach well beyond the physical pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

For patients with chronic pain who wish to minimize the use of medications or more invasive procedures, physicians at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Pain Treatment Clinic at UAB Hospital-Highlands are offering a new alternative — peripheral nerve stimulation, or PNS, that serves as a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with chronic pain.

“We are proud to be among the first sites in Alabama to utilize this technology,” said Prentiss Lawson Jr., M.D., assistant professor at the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. “It offers patients the ability to treat their pain without over-reliance on medications that can have side effects and is an alternative treatment option when other conservative treatments have failed.”

The temporary PNS device can be used to treat chronic nerve pain, as well as joint pain and back pain. With the PNS treatment, physicians use imaging guidance to insert a very fine wire, or lead, not much larger than the size of a hair, into the skin close enough to stimulate a target nerve and interrupt the pain signal. The stimulating lead connects to an external battery power supply.

The small PNS device sends gentle pulses, which feel like a small vibration, through the lead to stimulate the nerve. Patients will work with a team to determine the best stimulation level for their condition and use a simple hand-held remote to control stimulation level and turn the device on and off. After 60 days, the lead is removed, and treatment is complete.

“I am excited to offer patients this new treatment option,” Lawson said. “Because it is a minimally invasive option, it can be introduced early in the treatment continuum, and often, earlier intervention leads to better outcomes.”

Studies suggest that some patients experience prolonged relief even after the removal of the temporary device. If results are not prolonged, some people may be candidates for placement of this device periodically.

“Our goal at the UAB Pain Treatment Clinic is to help our patients with chronic pain have the highest quality of life,” Lawson said. “This can help patients who have had repeat surgeries or patients who do not have the option of injections feel better without relying on medications.”

Physicians administering this treatment at UAB include Lawson; Peter Nagi, M.D.; Chris Paul, M.D.; Alethia Sellers, M.D.; and Roland Short, M.D. Patients interested in learning more can schedule an appointment today at the UAB Pain Treatment Clinic at


3 Responses

  1. Nothing medically valid here – just people trying to make money by selling these units to patients. They do not work and they can have serious side effects.

    • Amen,,,,forced to try 1,,,,many many years ago,,,THEY HURT,,,, THEIR ELECTICALLY ZAPPING,,IE SHOCK TREATMENT,,,,TO THE AREA OF PHYSICAL PAIN,,,,THEY MADE IT WORSE,,,,,QUACKERY,,,,,,ALL THE WAY,,,,,jmo,,,,maryw

  2. Maybe Alabamans are really that gullible? They have been trying this electronic stuff (and affecting people very badly with it) since Thomas Edison. Bad idea.

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