If you have chronic back pain, you understand the daily struggle. It's difficult just to do basic tasks such as clean, cook, and take care of children. Some pain medications work well for some chronic pain patients but don't work well for others. Sometimes people are on pain medications for so long, they stop working, and higher doses would be dangerous. Now, chronic pain patients who are having trouble find medications that work sufficiently may be able to get a pain pump.
What is a pain pump?
A pain pump is a pump filled with pain medication that delivers it directly to your spine. The pump is a small storage device that is surgically implanted into your abdomen. One end of the pump connects to a catheter. The catheter runs from your abdomen to your spine, allowing the pain medication to go right to the source.
How it works
Depending on how much pain medication is prescribed to you, your doctor will need to fill it every 1–3 months. To fill the pain pump, your doctor will insert a needle into your abdomen, and into your pump. Your pump settings are accessed by software on your doctor's computer. If you need more or less medication throughout the day, your doctor can change the settings remotely.
After your surgery, you will be sent home with an Implanted Device Identification Card. It's important to carry your card on you at all times. Your implant will set off metal detectors in buildings such as the airport. Showing them your card will keep you from having problems with security personnel.
Types of medication
There are two types of medication approved for use in the pain pump. These include:
Morphine sulphate is a class II narcotic. It is addictive and at risk for abuse. However, in the pain pump, you can only get the pain medication the way your doctor programs it, so you don't have to worry about taking too much too often.
Ziconotide is also for severe chronic pain, but it's non-narcotic. Clinical trials were done on the medication to gauge how well it works for severe, long-term pain. The results concluded that long-term use is an appropriate option for chronic pain.
If you are having trouble keeping your pain at bay, talk to your doctor, such as at Illinois Pain Institute, about receiving a pain pump. After a minor surgery and brief hospital stay, you'll be well on your way to being more pain free than you have been in years.