Like millions of people around the globe yesterday, I watched the Superbowl. Tackle after tackle, hit after hit, the symphony of crowd roars and field blows swirled harmoniously in my brain. From that chorus came a simple thought – football is painful! How would I feel if I got mowed over by a 300-pound linebacker? What kind of long-term injuries would I have and how would those injuries be treated? In this age of opioids and technology, isn’t there a digital health option that would allow me to live with my pain without fear of drug dependency or overdose? I decided to take a look.
According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, approximately 100 million adults in the United States suffer from acute pain or chronic pain, the economic burden of which is between $560-635 billion annually. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from pain. Researchers also say that lower back pain and migraine headaches are the leading causes of chronic pain and 25.3 million adults in the U.S. experience daily pain. Pain affects more people than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. And, pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. With over 55% of Americans reporting having been in pain within the last 3 months, pain management and treatment should be a top priority. But is it?
It seems that pain is a prickly prognosis that illudes a uniform treatment option. Pain is subjective which means that each individual perceives pain differently. Consequently, modalities of treatment that work for you may not work for me. So, in our take-a-pill-cure society, the most prescribed therapy of choice has been painkillers such as opioids. This highly addictive and easily abused pain management approach has about as much of a downside as an upside. Non-surgical treatments such a acupuncture, vitamin therapy, meditation, and massage show science and statistical data that substantiate at least some level of clinical benefit. But what about technology as a treatment option.
Short of replacing a bad back with a bionic implant, I looked with a skeptical eye at technology as a non-invasive treatment for pain. One company that offered both compelling evidence-based data and manufactures an FDA approved Class 1 medical device is OSKA Wellness. President and CEO, Greg Houlgate, and his team of researchers and scientists developed the OSKA Pulse which utilizes their patent-pending eTec pulse technology as a drug-free way of relieving pain. Unlike drug therapy, the Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy encourages the body to heal itself while reducing pain. It doesn’t mask pain. Instead, the OSKA Pulse targets the electrical impulses in the body and sends a “regenerative” signal to damaged nerve cells, without drug side-effects. Moreover, this wearable device has shown patient improvement in back, knee, joint, and chronic pain.
Although pulsed electromagnetic field therapy won’t help all pain sufferers, it is an example of the way in which technology is offering more choices to patient consumers. As the demand for non-invasive and non-drug related treatment methods rise, so will the bridge between technology and health strengthen. Pain may be pervasive and perplexing and pertinacious. But man, technology and necessity are the foils of failure!
For more information about the OSKA Pulse, please visit, www.oskawellness.com.