Many people experience lower back pain. It is a silent affliction.
A study shows that every seven out of ten people suffer from lower back pain. 7% of those may have chronic low back pain (CLBP).
There are different treatments for CLBP such as stretching exercises, physical therapy, and cortisol shots. They are a source of pain reduction and minimizing inflammation. However, these treatments have limitations i.e. many people don’t have access to them. In addition, they are not 100% effective.
The neurostimulation for treatment has been approved under special conditions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an implant for treating CLBP which is called ReActiv8; Mainstay Medical developed it. Interestingly, it is an implantable neurostimulation system that helps improve CLBP that is related to multifidus muscle dysfunction.
Research for CLBP treatment
A team performed a clinical trial to check for the efficiency of the device used to treat CLBP. They performed the trials over a period of four months. The research was performed across Europe, Australia, and the US.
204 CLBP patients participated in the trials, all of them were adults. Mainstay Medical says that the results were very promising. They said that the device helps reduce pain and disability. It lasted for over a year.
The results are not available for public yet, however, researchers have generally announced the results.
The Origins of CLBP
ReActiv8 sends electrical signals to stimulate dormant nerve tissues inside multifidus.
Most important stabilizers of the lumbar spine include the deep multifidus muscle. It is very critical for walking, sitting, and especially bending.
If the muscle atrophies from lack of use or overuse and injury; it may result in disorder in motor control in lower back pain. This impaired control is one of the causes of CBLP.
Theresa Marko is a DPT, clinical specialist in orthopedics and owner of Marko Physical Therapy. According to her, the research found that multifidus turns off and becomes latent in people who have pain. This has a ‘snowball’ effect as the more you get weaker, the greater is the pain.
Immobility and pain cause people to isolate and lead to disability. ReActiv8 gives relief in such cases.
Derrell Blackburn, DC, senior manager of chiropractic relations and training for The Joint Chiropractic, says that the implant works on the gate control theory of pain.
Mechanoreceptors are turned on when muscles are ready to promote motion. Consequently, this reduces the pain. Moreover, it affects the function of motor neurons “which has the potential to support potential changes in quality of life and the healing process.”
ReActiv8: Last Option
ReActiv8 is the last option for those who don’t find relief in other therapies and are unable to undergo spine surgery.
Blackburn says that patients should test other therapies first; and they should take it at the end. Therefore, if you are ‘new’ to the pains and didn’t have any treatments, don’t start with ReActiv8. Go for other therapies first.
Patients who can’t take therapies and fail to get other treatments can use this. ReActiv8 is a device that makes hope for them to live pain-free.
“We assess alignment, strength, and function to tailor treatments to what that specific person needs,” Marko says of her physical therapy practice. She said that all 50 states allow direct access for physical therapists; meaning you don’t have to wait for a doctor’s referral to get the help you need.