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Neuromodulation: Bringing Treatment for Chronic Pain and Other Neurological Conditions into the 21st Century
By George W. Kukurin DC DACAN

The nervous system is a circuit that encompasses the brain, spinal cord and the wire-like nerves. Any interruption along the course of this loop from the periphery to the brain and back, will lead to ill health and pain.

It is a complex system, in fact if you could lay nerve fibers traversing the human body end-to-end, you would literally have miles of fibers. All of these fibers act as communication cables coordinating information coming from and going to various body parts. It is this remarkable coordination of information traveling through the nervous system that enables humans to do things like ballet and baseball. It is also this complexity that makes treating injuries, particularly chronic pain so difficult. Recently, promising developments have come to the forefront in the field of chronic pain management. They are collectively called Neuromodulation.

Neuromodulation means taking control of lost nervous system function via electrical stimulation. The concepts of electrical stimulation of the nervous system have been around for years. What makes Neuromodulation new and exciting is the discovery of techniques that may turn off over-active nerves, awaken sluggish nerves and most importantly (over time) to remodel and even repair the nervous system over time. Techniques of Neuromodulation are proving successful with even the most difficult cases that have resisted other therapies.

Currently, non-surgical neuromodulation of the brain may be possible through the use of a mild electrical current applied through electrodes placed over the scalp. The technique is called transcranial direct current stimulation of tDC. Current research suggests that tDC treatment can enhance brain function in those areas of the brain that have decreased activity or alternatively be used to calm areas of the brain that are overactive.

Another form of neuromodulation applied over the spine for chronic pain treatment is called Transcutaneous Spinal Direct Current stimulation of ts-DC. Preliminary research suggests that ts-DC can turn-off those parts of the spinal cord that are responsible for carrying pain signals from the body to the brain. All this without the need for surgery! This is a very exciting development for patients in chronic pain.

Dr. George W. Kukurin, Kukurin Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Nutrition, can be reached at (412) 381-4453 or visit www.alt-compmed.com.

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