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Peripheral Nerve Stimulator ( PNS) for Chronic Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common problem, with up to 25% of people experiencing shoulder pain at some point in their lives. Chronic shoulder pain can be difficult to manage, and traditional treatments such as physical therapy, medication, and surgery may not always be effective. Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS) is a promising new treatment option for chronic shoulder pain that may provide significant pain relief for patients.

What is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation (PNS)?

PNS is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the placement of a small device called a stimulator near the affected nerve. The stimulator delivers electrical impulses to the nerve, which can help to disrupt the pain signals that are being sent to the brain. PNS can be used to treat a variety of chronic pain conditions, including chronic shoulder pain.

How does PNS work for chronic shoulder pain?

In the case of chronic shoulder pain, PNS is typically used to target the suprascapular nerve, which is the nerve that provides sensation to the shoulder joint. By disrupting the pain signals being sent by this nerve, PNS can provide significant pain relief for patients with chronic shoulder pain.

The PNS procedure involves placing a small electrode near the suprascapular nerve, which is done using imaging guidance to ensure precise placement. Once the electrode is in place, a small generator is implanted under the skin, typically near the collarbone. The generator is then programmed to deliver electrical impulses to the electrode, which stimulates the nerve and disrupts the pain signals.

What are the benefits of PNS for chronic shoulder pain?

There are several benefits of PNS for chronic shoulder pain. Firstly, it is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis. This means that patients can typically return home the same day as the procedure. Secondly, PNS is a reversible treatment, meaning that if the patient does not experience significant pain relief, the device can be removed.

Additionally, PNS has been shown to provide significant pain relief for patients with chronic shoulder pain. A study published in the Journal of Pain Research found that PNS was effective in reducing pain scores for patients with chronic shoulder pain. Another study published in the journal Neuromodulation found that PNS was effective in reducing pain and improving function for patients with chronic shoulder pain.

What are the potential risks of PNS for chronic shoulder pain?

Like any medical procedure, there are potential risks associated with PNS for chronic shoulder pain. These risks include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, these risks are relatively low, and the procedure is generally considered to be safe.

 

PNS is a promising new treatment option for patients with chronic shoulder pain. It is a minimally invasive, reversible procedure that has been shown to provide significant pain relief for patients. While there are potential risks associated with the procedure, these risks are relatively low, and the benefits of PNS for chronic shoulder pain may outweigh the risks for many patients. If you are experiencing chronic shoulder pain, talk to your healthcare provider about whether PNS may be a good treatment option for you.

 
Author
Ajay Kumar, MD

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