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Marine Corps veteran finds relief from pain through innovative treatment

Health

Marine Corps veteran finds relief from pain through innovative treatment

Health Tidelands Health pain management specialist Dr. Channing Willoughby is helping people find relief from chronic pain through an innovative treatment option using electrical impulses.

Tidelands Health pain management specialist Dr. Channing Willoughby is helping people find relief from chronic pain through an innovative treatment using electrical impulses.

As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served our country for seven years, Randy Middleton is no stranger to pain and discomfort.
Still, after suffering for more than a year with chronic shoulder pain that left him unable to use his left arm, the Myrtle Beach resident, 58, needed to find relief.
“Any movement whatsoever in that arm was excruciatingly painful,” Middleton says. “It kept me up at night – I couldn’t sleep.”
After unsuccessfully trying physical therapy and other treatment approaches, Middleton made an appointment with Tidelands Health pain management specialist Dr. Channing Willoughby, who practices at the Murrells Inlet and The Market Common locations of Tidelands Health Pain Management Services.

'Remarkable results'

Dr. Willoughby suggested Middleton try a relatively new, non-invasive treatment called the SPRINT PNS System, which uses mild electrical impulses sent directly to nerves to help reduce pain signals.
The approach can offer relief to people suffering from chronic nerve pain, such as lower back pain, shoulder pain and knee pain, as well as nerve entrapment syndrome/compression and other nerve-related pain conditions that haven’t responded to other forms of treatment, Dr. Willoughby says.

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There’s no incision required. An extremely thin, filament-type wire inserted using a syringe delivers mild electrical impulses to affected nerves to relieve pain, Dr. Willoughby says. Patients can use a small, handheld remote to control the level of stimulation provided.
The wire remains in place for 60 days, though the resulting pain relief can last far longer.
“We’ve seen some remarkable results,” says Dr. Willoughby, who has treated about three dozen patients using the therapy. “What really stands out is how long patients can benefit from pain relief even after the therapy is completed.”

Continued benefits

Middleton started to experience improvement within a week of beginning the treatment, and his condition became steadily better. Now, more than a year after completing the therapy, he’s continuing to experience its benefits.
His pain is significantly reduced, and his range of motion has improved substantially. He can move his arm about 90 degrees from his side and to a 1 o’clock position in front of him, making day-to-day activities much easier and far less painful.

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“I’m just grateful I’ve got the movement I do,” he says. “It’s definitely not 100 percent, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it was. Months later I’m still able to move it and keep it going.”
Although not for everyone suffering from chronic pain, the SPRINT PNS System is an excellent option to have available for individuals suffering from chronic pain in our community, Dr. Willoughby says. It can provide significant and sustained relief without an incision or permanent implant or the use of opioid-based pain medications.
“Chronic pain can have a tremendous impact on quality of life,” he says. “This treatment is a great tool to have available to help people find relief.”

Tidelands Health pain management specialist Dr. Channing Willoughby practices at the Murrells Inlet and The Market Common locations of Tidelands Health Pain Management Services.

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