With drug abuse and addiction on the rise, a Lincoln doctor is using special technology to help people in severe pain.

Doctor Phil Essay with the Nebraska Spine and Pain Center has performed the first four procedures in Nebraska.A technology that has only been allowed in the U.S. for the past two years.

For more than three decades patient Mark Robertson has lived his life with excruciating back pain, making small tasks a big challenge.

Thanks to this new high frequency spinal cord stimulator, he can now perform basic chores.

“One of my friends said. ‘You must really like to mow the lawn,'” says Robertson. “I say, ‘No. I don’t like to mow, but I like to be able to mow the lawn.’ “So I can do those things now.”

According to Dr. Essay, more than 100 million people suffer with pain. As a result, people often turn to medication to manage the pain. This can create the risk of addiction and dependence on these types of dangerous drugs.

“Last year alone, 57,500 people died in this country due to opioid overdose,” said Dr. Essay.

Essay states that one way to reduce patient pain without drugs, is by using electrical cords.

“It’s a small device implanted near the spine that administers very gentle electrical stimulation to the spinal cord, which is where the pain pathways are,” said Dr. Essay.

Robertson went under the knife last year and now has the squared device in his back. He believes it’s one of the best decision he’s ever made.

A common medical procedure is to ask patients to rate their pain level (on a scale of 1-10) in order to assess a patient’s condition and treatment trends. Robertson said that his pain level was consistently in the 9 range.

“The thought getting it down to a 4 or a 5 was great,” said Robertson. “But it’s actually gone down to almost a one or even below.”

This device might not be for everyone, but for patients like Robertson, he no longer needs to take pills for his back pain.

Dr. Essay says high frequency spinal cord stimulator has a good success rate. For more information or to see if this type of pain management is right for you, visit: www.hf10.com

Source: KLKN-TV