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Health Matters: Implant Helps Patients Fight Pain, Become Active Again

ARKANSAS -- Arkansas doctors are starting to use new spinal cord stimulation device to help patients deal with pain without taking medication.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A new FDA approved device is now helping Arkansans with pain management. The Protégé IPG is made by St. Jude Medical. The device is implanted into the lower back and a small wire is placed in the spine.

The device is controlled by a hand held device giving the person the power to adjust the vibrations. For patients like Steve Moore it's an alternative to heavy pain medication.

"It's like an electrical pulse sometimes. It will kind of cover the pain up. It will kind of block it out. Some of the programs I got will block out my legs all the way down," says Moore.

Before the device Moore says the pain was so bad he struggled to walk. Now he is getting back to his daily activities. Neurosurgeon Erika Petersen says the device helps to train the brain to deal with pain.

"This uses electrical simulation rather than medicine to change how the brain perceives pain. A lot of people find that narcotics and other pain medicines interfere with how they want to function during their life," says Dr. Petersen.

For patients like Moore, he says he is finally able to get back to his daily activities.
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