New device helping in chronic pain management

One in three Americans suffer from chronic pain.

For many they will turn to pain killers, others will just try to live with it, but it can be debilitating.

For one Laurel county teen chronic pain was a reality daily.

As WKYT's Amber Philpott reports, thanks to a new version of an old technology the teen is living pain free for the first time in two years.

Not long ago, walking was no easy task for 18-year-old Reagan Sizemore.

Two years ago when Reagan was 16 she had warts removed from her foot.

That simple procedure turned into a nightmare when Reagan had a chemical reaction that led to a nerve disease in her left foot.

"After I had the warts removed it just never stopped burning, it was very sharp, it just never stopped," said Reagan Sizemore.

The pain was excruciating and the only relief for the teenager came in the form of a new device.

Reagan underwent surgery where Dr. William Witt at Cardinal Hill implanted the Precision Spectra Spinal Cord Stimulator in her back.

"The type of pain that spinal cord stimulation tends to be very effective for is what we call neuropathic pain, which involves some type of injury, irritation, inflammation of some part of the nervous system," said Dr. William Witt, Director of the Cardinal Hill Pain Institute.

The Spectra is the next generation of stimulation technology.

The device relieves pain by delivering electrical pulses to the spinal cord and swaps in a different kind of sensation.

"Its like a massaging feeling, when the pain gets worse all you have to do is to turn up and it massages the pain away," said Sizemore.

A rep with Boston Scientific helps Reagan regulate and program the hand held controller.

At first Reagan had an older bulkier device; this new technology is vastly different being completely wireless.

"If the pain gets worse all I do is turn it up and it controls me really, it controls my pain for me, its 100% better," said Sizemore.

"When a patient is coming in expecting little or nothing and you can deliver something, it's a terrific experience," said Dr. Witt.

Reagan has been able to return to a normal life again, even attending her senior prom, heels and all for the first time.

Reagan is now in college and living a normal life.

Dr. Witt says if you think this procedure might be for you he encourages you to visit a pain management physician.

You should check, but Boston Scientific representatives say this procedure is covered by most insurance.

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