Couple find personalized pain relief in identical devices

Posted 18 hours ago

Proposed by Medtronic

Couple find personalized pain relief in identical devices

Jay Aldrich doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about his spinal cord stimulator, and that’s something he loves.

Not only has it given him relief from chronic back pain that he couldn’t find through physical therapy, medication and other pain treatments, but his device doesn’t need to be recharged.

Spinal cord stimulation provides effective pain relief by blocking pain signals between the spinal cord and the brain. But many spinal cord stimulators need to be recharged regularly.

“Recharging would be a bit of a pain for me,” said Aldrich, 74, who received the Vanta™, a no-recharge spinal cord stimulator from Medtronic earlier this year. “When I go to sleep at night, I don’t have to worry or stress about forgetting to charge the device, which is great.”

In 2013, Jay fell on ice in his driveway, starting a long journey with chronic back pain. He tried exercise, physiotherapy, epidurals and other pain treatments suggested by his doctor, but none worked.

Desperate for pain relief, he participated in a seven-day trial and then surgery to implant the Vanta™ spinal cord stimulator.

Find personalized relief

With its extended battery performance, Vanta™ is designed to give patients like Jay approximately 5.5 to 7.5 years of pain relief without having to recharge the device.

Vanta™ also personalizes Jay’s pain relief. It adapts to Jay’s body movement or position using a built-in accelerometer and changes its therapy accordingly. Jay credits the device with relieving much of his pain.

“Vanta™ has really changed my life,” said Jay, who has started enjoying outdoor activities again, including bicycling and gardening. “It allowed me the freedom to travel without having to carry a rechargeable system with me.”

A device for the family

Jay’s journey to pain relief even inspired his wife Sandra, who also suffered from chronic back pain from an injury years earlier.

Although several medical treatments failed to relieve her pain, Sandra was reluctant to undergo surgery and have a spinal cord stimulation device implanted.

After seeing the difference the device was making to her husband’s pain, Sandra saw her doctor and successfully underwent a seven-day trial of Vanta™.

“Once they put it in, I thought ‘it’s a gift’,” says Sandra, who had the device implanted a few weeks later.

Today, the couple credit their spinal cord pacemakers with allowing them to resume hiking on the trails of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where they serve as volunteers.

But perhaps the biggest benefit is the improved quality of family time.

“Being able to get our young grandson back means everything,” Sandra said. “The future is so bright because we can do things we love and do them together, and I know that sounds corny, but grow old together happily.”



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