A picture of Claire
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Claire - Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain

As a hairstylist, netballer and lover of the outdoors, Claire spent a lot of time on her feet, as well as in pain. Claire first experienced lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease in 2002, while in her early 20s but it was not until 2011 that she started having nerve pain in both legs. Claire describes the pain as "a combination of burning, stabbing and throbbing altogether." The pain extended from her waist down to her feet, especially on the right side, and between the back of her thigh to the back of her knee.

She explored physiotherapy, medication and injections to ease her pain but these options were always short lived. The medication often made her moody and nauseated. Not feeling entirely herself, she was unable to join her friends for social occasions. Finally, it reached a point where she cut herself off entirely from all events, even birthday parties and weddings. Her symptoms worsened and Claire's doctor told her that she might never be able to walk or work again.

"Living in constant pain took a toll on my relationship with my partner and my family. I was depressed. I kept wondering if things would ever get better."

Hope came when Claire was referred to another pain specialist, who told her about Medtronic spinal cord stimulation therapy. Seeing a glimmer of hope, Claire went forward with the implant.

Within four days of surgery, Claire felt well enough to go home. She initially stayed with her parents who provided emotional and physical support. "I was so thankful to have my mum and dad helping me with most of the things during my recovery stage. I wouldn't have been able to cope without them." Claire returned to light duties at work within six weeks, and her total recovery period was about 12 weeks.

Since the implant, Claire has decreased her pain medication. "I am not dependent on medication and only take them when necessary. I no longer wake up feeling like I have a hangover despite not drinking."

In addition to gaining control over her pain, Claire's quality of life has improved and she has returned to the activities she enjoys, and spending time with family and friends. "The stimulation was programmed to make adjustments as and when I move. I have much more life now and the pain level has dropped tremendously. I am able to exercise to keep up with my core strength, and have returned to work without the number of sick days I had in the past. I'm still feeling some pain but it is greatly reduced and manageable. I feel good, look forward to getting up and making most out of my days. I'm also looking forward to travelling with my partner."

"I am sharing my story so that people do not give up hope in managing their pain. I am a happier person and I hope my story inspires others who are facing on the same problems."

Note: This patient testimonial relates an account of an individual's response to the treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. However, the individual's response does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. The response other persons have to the treatment could be different. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient. Please consult your healthcare professional for a full list of benefits,indications, precautions, clinical results, and other important medical information that pertains to the therapy or products discussed.