WNEP’s Ryan’s Run Showcases High Tech Pain Relief

WNEP-TV'S charity campaign, Ryan's Run, is nearing the finishing line. Not to forget, our team is also getting closer to the TCS New York City Marathon this coming Sunday, November 6.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey gave an update on this year's campaign on Thursday while visiting one of Ryan's Run's seven corporate sponsors, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates.

Northeast Rehab has several locations across our area. The company is dedicated to "using a team approach to help patients recover from painful conditions and return them to the highest level of functionality possible."

For more information on the concussion treatments featured on Newswatch 16 This Morning, head here!

Spinal Cord Stimulation: High Tech Pain Relief

Ryan also talked with Dr. Chris Connor about a high-tech treatment called Spinal Cord Stimulation. The procedure is like a pacemaker for your back and could provide a variety of pain relief.

This remote controlled battery powered device is implanted under the skin of your back with small wires that carry a mild current to your spinal cord.

“It’s really just using electricity to treat pain. We really use it for people with chronic back, leg, and even neck and arm pain,” said Dr. Chris Connor, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates Spine Specialist,

Dr. Connor determines whether a patient might benefit from spinal cord stimulation. Dr. Connor says the ideal candidate is someone who has lived with chronic pain for at least a year and who has tried multiple courses of physical therapy, even injections, or other spine surgeries that just didn’t do the trick.

Dr. Connor added, “The first implant was done in 1967, but I’d say over the last two to three years technology has really boomed.”

Not only is the goal of spinal cord stimulation to reduce pain, but also to help people cut down on pain pills that could lead to addiction.

“With more evidence that comes out, we’re learning that some of these medicines could do more harm than good,” said Dr. Connor.

The procedure cost varies due patient’s insurance, and most insurance companies do cover it. You have a week trial run, that's completely reversible, to see how it works. If you get it done for permanently, you have to take it easy for six weeks. Then, it’s life as normal. Doctors say spinal cord stimulation can reduce pain by at least 50%.