Opening August 2, 2021

New treatment for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy

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Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a condition that can lead to significant pain in patients with diabetes. It is the most common complication of diabetes, with up to 70% of diabetics eventually developing DPN. Persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to damage to nerves in areas such as the feet, legs, and hands. Patients with DPN often describe feeling burning pain, tingling, or numbness.

Since no effective procedures existed to treat pain due to DPN, the mainstay of treatment has been oral medications and tight diabetes control. Though these conservative treatments are still considered the standard of care, there is a new and exciting treatment option for pain due to DPN.

spinal cord stimulator showing the concept of New treatment for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Descartes model of pain perception 24 The Cartesian perspective dominated the showing the concept of New treatment for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Spinal cord stimulation is an advanced treatment that was first used in the 1960s to treat cancer pain, and has evolved tremendously over the past several decades since then. This treatment involves implanting a medical device in your back that emits electrical current to essentially blocks pain signals from reaching the brain from the spinal cord. The device looks like a pacemaker for your heart.

Until recently, research supported the use of spinal stimulation primarily for patients with persistent pain after back surgery, or patients with a condition called complex regional pain syndrome. However, new research now supports the use of spinal cord stimulation for DPN. Along with medications and tight diabetes control, patients suffering from DPN may finally have a highly effective and long term treatment option.

At Ascension Pain Specialists, we are proud to provide this powerful therapy. Spinal cord stimulation is not for everyone with DPN, though. To make sure a patient with DPN is suitable for spinal cord stimulation, we will first perform a trial of spinal cord stimulation before committing to surgical implant. If you have DPN and are interested in learning more about your treatment options, please call us at 626-514-1188 or email us at