CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Diabetes is rapidly becoming more prevalent, affecting over half a billion people worldwide. Some diabetes patients experience diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a painful condition with historically very few treatment options.
Desert Pain Specialists recently started offering a high-frequency spinal cord stimulation system by Nevro designed to alleviate nerve pain in diabetes patients. It’s the only medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Dr. Steven Larsen, interventional pain management specialist at Desert Pain, said the Nevro therapy is based on proven results. Along with significantly reduced pain levels, the treatment also helps patients sleep better and enjoy a greater feeling of wellness overall.
“For years, I’ve been searching for solutions to the pain diabetics feel,” Larsen said. “Finally, we can offer something that may actually make a significant difference for individuals and bring more joy back to their lives.”
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage caused by chronically high blood sugar and diabetes. Usually affecting the legs, feet and hands, it leads to numbness, loss of sensation and pain. For some people, symptoms are mild, but for others, the condition can be debilitating.
“It’s just a constant burning pain,” Larsen said. “Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a very disruptive problem.”
Approximately 20% of diabetics will experience peripheral neuropathy at some point, Larsen said, adding that it’s one of the most common complications of diabetes. Despite this, modern medicine offers few options to alleviate the symptoms. Not only are medications for nerve pain not highly effective, but nearly half the patients that start them discontinue use within six months due to the side effects.
With diabetic peripheral neuropathy, patients experience nerve pain even when there’s no stimulus to create pain. The Nevro therapy uses a high-frequency stimulator implanted into the spine to reduce those pain signals.
“It modulates the way your body experiences pain,” Larsen said.
The Nevro therapy is a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure. At Desert Pain, patients will have the opportunity to undergo a trial before having anything permanently placed to ensure that the treatment is right for them. Once the trial period is over, the physician works with the patient to determine if they experienced sufficient pain relief to warrant long-term implantation. The permanent system is placed entirely under the skin.
The Nevro therapy received FDA approval for the treatment of chronic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy earlier this year. Melissa Morrison, district sales manager for Nevro, said the approval was granted following a yearlong study of 216 diabetes patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy, in which 85% of patients experienced at least 50% pain relief, and the average pain relief level was 76%. Patients also experienced some neurologic improvement.
“Patients and physicians have had such little options in the past, and this has really been life-changing for people,” Morrison said. “It’s amazing to have a non-drug option for them.”
Supported by a team of advanced practitioners, the physicians at Desert Pain are dedicated to improving patient quality of life using all available resources, including injections, nerve blocks, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, medications and surgery. Their state-of-the-art facility in St. George allows them to offer unmatched quality of care. And with additional locations in Hurricane, Cedar City, Kanab, Beaver and Panguitch, plus satellite clinics in Mesquite and Overton, Nevada, they’re prepared to meet the needs of the area’s growing population.
Desert Pain stands at the forefront of treating acute and chronic pain in Southern Utah by offering patients shorter wait times and more one-on-one attention from compassionate physicians trained in the latest procedures. All of the physicians have completed fellowship training in both acute and chronic pain management, and with the help of their skilled nursing staff, they’re willing to spend as much time with each patient as necessary in order for them to feel comfortable.
“We interview and assess each patient individually to make sure every treatment is the right fit for them,” Larsen said. “We try to always put the patient first and the business second.”
At Desert Pain, patients aren’t simply treated. They’re seen, heard, understood and supported throughout their pain management journey. Call 435-216-7000 or visit the Desert Pain website to schedule an appointment with the specialist nearest you today.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- Desert Pain Specialists | Telephone: 435-216-7000 | Email: [email protected] | Website.
- St. George: 617 E. Riverside Drive, Suite 301.
- Hurricane: 48 S. 2500 West, Suite 110.
- Cedar City: 1760 N. Main St.
- Beaver: 68 N. Main St.
- Panguitch: 200 N. 400 East.
- Kanab: 460 E. 300 South, Suite 4.
- Mesquite, Nevada: 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600.
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