Charles’ Chronic Pain Story

Charles’ Chronic Pain Story

The pain began in his leg and spread to his lower back. Sharp, intense, burning. It could not be traced back to a single accident or incident. It just started.

Charles was always healthy. He liked to fish and work outside. He served as a paratrooper in the military and then worked in construction while attending college. But in 1997, at age 30, he began a 10-year battle with pain that lead him to his family doctor, three neurosurgeons, two neurologists, and two pain management doctors.

The pain made him miserable, affected his job, and drove his wife and two sons “crazy.” In the course of his pain treatments, Charles had multiple back surgeries. None relieved his pain.

“I don’t know what I’ll do if something doesn’t give,” he remembers thinking. He says at the time he was 38 but felt 75 years old. Charles finally visited a pain management physician who gave him literature about neurostimulation. At first he didn’t know what to think because he had never heard of the therapy before. But he was so desperate to get help that he wanted to find out more. His doctor explained everything to him and his wife—how it works and the benefits and risks, which include infection and bleeding. (Risks associated with the procedure and/or use of a neurostimulation system include infection, swelling, bruising, undesirable changes in stimulation, and the loss of strength or use in an affected limb or muscle group (e.g., paralysis). For a complete list of possible complications associated with neurostimulation, refer to the Important Safety Information page and talk to your doctor.) After they talked with the doctor, Charles knew he wanted to try the therapy during a temporary evaluation.

Today, Charles says he experiences about 80 percent pain relief from his rechargeable neurostimulation system and has been able to reduce the amount of medications he takes. He says his stimulator has changed every aspect of his life. He is working again, plays with his two sons, and recommends neurostimulation to other patients who are looking for relief from chronic pain.

Consult your doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of neurostimulation and determine if this therapy is right for you. The story above explains the experiences of an individual who has received a neurostimulation system to manage chronic pain of the trunk and/or limbs. These results with neurostimulation are specific to this individual. While most patients experience at least some reduction in pain, the amount of pain relief that individuals experience varies. The surgical placement and use of a neurostimulation system pose risks, the occurrence of which also varies by individual.