Albany doctor: Updated implant eases back pain - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany doctor: Updated implant eases back pain

The HF10 Therapy focuses on the spinal cord (Source: WALB) The HF10 Therapy focuses on the spinal cord (Source: WALB)
Dr. Matthews calls it a minor surgery (Source: WALB) Dr. Matthews calls it a minor surgery (Source: WALB)
The device is implanted in the back (Source: WALB) The device is implanted in the back (Source: WALB)
Randall Pachan, (Source: WALB) Randall Pachan, (Source: WALB)
Freddie and Nellie Taylor (Source: WALB) Freddie and Nellie Taylor (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The American Chiropractic Association said experts estimate around 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives. 

But an Albany doctor said he sees new life in several of his patients, thanks to updated technology. HF10 Therapy is helping those suffering from chronic back pain.

Randall Pachan said he dealt with it after a motorcycle accident in 2003. He said the pain changed his life.

"Slowly, I had to give up riding my motorcycle," Pachan said.

Dr. Joe Matthews at the Nexus Pain Center of Albany had a solution for Pachan, and it came in the form of an implant.

The HF10 Therapy includes a small device implanted in the back. The stimulator delivers small pulses to the spinal cord and brain. 

A number of patients say the therapy works for them.

"I was heavy on the medication, but after the surgery, I started to lower the doses...it's an answered prayer," Pachan said.

The spinal cord stimulation therapy has been around for a while, but a number of people reported a common side effect. Some patients said they felt a tingling sensation coming from the device. Dr. Matthews said the updated HF10 Therapy avoids the tingle. 

Before the device can be implanted, the doctor said each patient must go through a trial run. Cathie Patterson received her trial when I visited the center.

"I haven't been able to walk. I can't bend over. It's miserable riding," Patterson said.

For some patients, the HF10 Therapy was their only hope.

I had five back surgeries and not one of them did any good," Freddie Taylor said.

Taylor said his back pain got so bad, he had to stop singing with his church group. His wife, Nellie, said it was tough to see her husband in pain. 

"It was really hard, because sometimes he couldn't sleep. He would sit in a chair all night," Taylor said.

Taylor said he's grateful for the technology. Now, he can return to doing things that he loves and some other tasks as well.

Dr. Matthews said the implant isn't for everyone, which is why there's a trial run. But he performs more than several implants each month.

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