Stimulation Induced Pain Relief versus “Burning Nerves” For Pain Relief.
What does all this mean for chronic pain patients? Like two sides of a coin, pain relief can be provided by either stimulating nerves or destroying them. Burning nerves or ablation prevents pain signals from reaching the brain by purposefully destroying the pathways that carry pain signals to the brain. The other side of the coin is stimulation induced pain relief.
This method of pain relief is based on the fact that the human body has its own pain suppressing circuits that can be turned-on with proper external stimulation. In a nutshell, it is often possible to turn one set of nerves “on” which indirectly effects other pain-carrying nerves, turning them “off”. A modern example of this is called trans-spinal galvanic stimulation. Scientific studies have demonstrated that a mild galvanic current may activate four distinct pain killing circuits in the human body. This therapy has local effects, changing pain related chemicals in tissues, it also has been found to switch “off” a part of the spinal cord that is a major relay center for pain transmission.
The third pain killing circuit activated by this therapy is in the brainstem. This circuit sends pain blocking signals down from the base of the brain to the spinal cord. Lastly this therapy can cause the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are the most powerful pain killing chemicals in the nervous system. Unlike ablative pain relief procedures, stimulation induced pain relief does not harm healthy tissues; providing pain relief without further damaging or injuring the body.