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Can this technique be used to treat chronic pain?

My husband is a very talented artist who now suffers chronic pain in his right hand and arm due to infection and nerve damage after a series of surgeries on his hand. I'm wondering if electrode implantation would ease his pain without affecting his creativity.

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    Aug 11 2013: For serious medical questions, my first choice of where to look for reliable information is the Mayo Clinic.

    Many people suffer from chronic pain but there will likely be few people with expertise in pain management on general internet discussion boards.
    • Aug 12 2013: My husband is being treated by a physician who specializes in pain management. I was curious as to whether Dr. Lozano's technique could alleviate at least some of my husband's pain so he could reduce the amount of medication he is taking. I just wanted general information.
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        Aug 12 2013: I understand. People new to TED Conversations sometimes do not realize that this is in not a repository of experts and therefore, for example, not a reliable source of medical advice.
  • Aug 13 2013: Here is my personal experience in my chronic back pain and leg pain. I had severe back pain when I was around the age of 45. It was chronic all right because I simply couldn't stand up from the sitting position any time of the day or night without having sharp pain. I tried several drugs, but they didn't work. But one physician thought it was just inflammation of nerve cells around my spine, so he gave me just several doses of Naproxen (anti-inflammation drug), then the pain was gone and have never returned since. But I developed nerve pain in my legs, propagated from the nerve damage caused by abnormal growth between my lower spinal discs. This occurrence happened in my 70s, so it might not be related to my previous trouble. Then I was given Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS), which as I understand is not the same as TENS. and physical therapy, It did work, but every time I returned to normal, it flared up again within 3-5 months. After a couple times of repetitions of therapy and recovery, I decided (by myself) to try something else. I read somewhere that taking just Vitamin D or D3, could stop the pain within days. So I tried it anyway, since this has very low risks of side effect and very low cost. But, surprise, just after 2 capsules in 2 days, my leg pain was completely gone and hasn't come back in 2 years since.
    This is my experience. I wouldn't say that it would be applicable to your husband. However, the important argument here is that not even the medical expert could determine the exact nature of some disease correctly each time. Also, their advocated therapeutic or surgical procedures wouldn't work out all the time either. My suggestion will be to try the less risky procedures first before trying the procedure with possibly more risks.
    I have a graduate degree from a medical school, but am not a clinician. However I have worked with them in medical research for almost 35 years.
    • Aug 13 2013: Thank you for sharing your experiences. My husband was recently given a TENS unit which provides relief while he's using it but the pain returns immediately when the session is over. I understand that this may change over the course of time. I hope so. I won't get into the entire story of his injury, but the final result was a loss of a great deal of metacarpals in his hand, replaced by sand and Super Glue. There was also an incidence of infection after his final surgery. The doctor wanted to operate a fourth time but my husband refused. I have lost a lot of confidence in the medical community over this experience.
      • Aug 13 2013: From what you said about his loss in the metacarpal bones, I imagine that he probably has some bone density problem in his arm and hand. If that is the case, I would think that vitamin D might help to naturally repair or strengthen the bones. Since taking of vitamin D , especially not in very high dosage, is usually harmless, you may try it. I was taking vitamin D3 in liquid gel form at 1000 IU, once a day. It has to be in liquid gel form, (they are available everywhere even in supermarkets), otherwise it might not be effective. If you agree, make him take the capsules for 3 or 4 weeks, if it improves the pain relief, continue the dosage. If no improvement, stop taking them. On the bottle label, it is stated that the gelcap helps improve "bone health"; thus it helps in more NATURAL PROCESS than surgery.
        Do I sound like a snake oil peddler? But I hope you understand that I don't have anything to sell to you.
        • Aug 13 2013: I rather like snakes! Thank you for the information on vitamin D3. I will try that. After all, it wouldn't hurt, and thanks again for taking the time to reply to my query.
  • Aug 12 2013: I agree with Fritzie - get medical advice about this. I know that they use this technique for stopping epileptic fits.
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    Aug 11 2013: I know they do this for back pain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_cord_stimulator
    I don't think this method is used for specific limb pain but you could probably find some experimental trials.
    This is available as an external stimulation and any good chiropractor could set you up with a TENS unit and show you how to apply it to interfere with pain in your hands or legs. I used this for a time when I had foot pain.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcutaneous_electrical_nerve_stimulation
    Worked like a charm...
  • Aug 11 2013: Electrode implantation?? never heard of that could you explain? or give a link
    • Aug 11 2013: I was referencing Dr. Lozano' s TED talk regarding implantation in the brain of electrodes to help people suffering from Parkinson's disease. He is also exploring the possibility of aiding Alzheimer's patients. If these people can be helped, why not people suffering from chronic pain?