People Painting

Gloma's Story

Chronic Pain

This story reflects the experience of one individual who is receiving a Medtronic Chronic Pain Therapy for the treatment of chronic pain. Medtronic invited this person to share her story candidly. As you read it, please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular individual. Not everyone who receives targeted drug delivery will receive the same results as the individual in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if targeted drug delivery is right for you.

Gloma had a successful career working in the Human Resources department of a college in Minnesota. She enjoyed traveling with friends and colleagues, particularly to Paris to visit her daughter. As the years went on, lower lumbar stenosis set in. Gloma's legs continually ached, and occasionally she had pain in her lower back. Unable to stand for long periods of time, she gave up travel and going out with friends.

"When you live with pain for as long as I did, life becomes a blur," Gloma remembers. "I felt constant throbbing throughout both of my legs."

Living with Chronic Pain

To combat the pain, Gloma tried steroid shots but they provided relief for only two weeks each time. She took ibuprofen by the handful and ultimately developed an ulcer from the medication. To avoid ibuprofen, she began taking prescription pain medications. She also found some relief in the warm salt water pool at the pain clinic.

"I loved it in the pool, but you can't live in a pool, and I didn't have one at home," she says. Ultimately, Gloma retired because the pain in her legs was so great.

What Spinal Cord Stimulation Can Do

Gloma learned about neurostimulation from her doctor at the pain clinic. "I was at the point where nothing else had worked. I learned about the therapy and then talked with a Medtronic representative."

"I wasn't scared at the screening test. I knew it was just a temporary use of the neurostimulator to see if it would work for me," Gloma says. Gloma had the RestoreSensor® neurostimulator with AdaptiveStim® implanted in August 2010 as part of an FDA-approved study.

RestoreSensor is the first neurostimulation system to automatically adjust stimulation with a change in position. When Gloma moves from an upright position (sitting or standing) to lying down or to upright and active (e.g., jogging), the device remembers preferred stimulation for that position and applies it. As a result, she doesn't have to adjust amplitude as frequently, and changing positions is more comfortable, when compared to conventional stimulation.

Risks of Spinal Cord Stimulation

While Gloma didn't experience any complications with her surgery, some patients do experience problems. The most frequently reported problems following the neurostimulator implant surgery include infection, lead movement, pain at the implant site, loss of therapy effect, and therapy that did not meet the patient’s expectations.

For a complete list of side effects that have been associated with the therapy, refer to the Important Safety Information to fully understand the risks and benefits.

Living with Spinal Cord Stimulation

Today, Gloma still takes pain medications, but at much lower dosages and not as frequently as she did before neurostimulation therapy.

"My symptoms are under control. My legs don't hurt and my lower back feels fine," she says.

Gloma likes the AdaptiveStim feature on her RestoreSensor neurostimulator. "I'm completely comfortable with the AdaptiveStim feature. It's logical. It's easy to operate. When AdaptiveStim is turned off, I miss it. But it's nice to be able to turn it off when I need to.”

Gloma credits AdaptiveStim with her improved pain control and increased activity. "When the AdaptiveStim feature is turned on, I have very little pain," she says. "It allows me to keep exercising and moving more."

Gloma is more active than she's been in years. Her outings now include all-day trips with her community centre and fun getaways with her family.

"Now, I can go to the Mall of America with my great-granddaughter. I couldn't do that before!"

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.