Narcotic painkillers are often used as a treatment for chronic pain, especially chronic back pain. While they are very effective in the short run, they often prove to be addictive. Part of the problem with painkillers is that they are best for treating acute pain, not chronic pain. Acute pain is defined as pain that does not last longer than six months. Chronic pain, on the other hand, can last for the rest of a patient’s life.
Fortunately for sufferers, there are drug-free treatments for chronic pain. One of the most exciting of these is InterX therapy. InterX therapy is a neurostimulation pain management technology approved by the FDA.
Unlike some other forms of neurostimulation pain management therapy, InterX therapy does not involve surgery. InterX devices are handheld and battery-powered, and they are applied externally. With only a few exceptions (individuals with cardiac pacemakers, for example) the therapy is safe for patients of all ages.
A Revolutionary Treatment Modality
InterX therapy appears to have multiple mechanisms of action. It is believed to cause the release of endogenous opioids, and it may affect other neuropeptides as well.
There are different types of endogenous opioids in the body, but they all modify pain signals. In a nutshell, endogenous opioids are your body’s natural painkillers. They are similar in structure to prescribed opioid drugs but have none of the negative side effects of their pharmaceutical counterparts.
Unlike other stimulation treatments, InterX therapy does not merely mask pain. Sustained relief from pain is often seen after therapy. This may be partially because of inflammation reduction. While the precise scientific details are not yet clear, inflammation reduction is believed to play an important role in effective drug-free pain treatment.
InterX Therapy in Practice
InterX Therapy is often done in three stages. First, the patient’s body is scanned to find areas of low impedance (related to electrical resistance). These areas are believed to be the best points for stimulation.
After scanning, stimulation is applied to the selected areas. The stimulation is dynamic, not static. The type of stimulation the tissue receives changes as the electrophysiology of the tissue changes.
Near the end of a session, the patient is sometimes moved through different positions or stretches while stimulation is applied. The stretches are thought to enhance the positive adaptation of the nervous system.
Some patients experience a significant reduction in pain after just one treatment. However, in many cases, six or more treatments are necessary for real relief.
One of the big advantages of InterX therapy is that there are no significant adverse effects. Patients who require additional treatments to obtain relief do not need to worry about the risk of addiction or other unwanted side effects.
Narcotic painkillers are not the best approach for treating chronic pain over the long term. Chronic pain patients who don’t have a pacemaker should ask their physician about InterX therapy as a pain management modality.
For InterX therapy and other pain management treatments in Boise, contact Pain Care Clinic of Idaho. Call 208-939-3750 for an appointment.