York Primary and Preventative Medicine in Fort Mill has brought a little-known treatment for neuropathic pain to the East Coast.
Using a process developed by Robert Odell, a Stanford University-trained pain-management physician and anesthesiologist, York Primary treats chronic neuropathic pain, or pain associated with injury to the nervous system, using a device developed by Dr. Richard Sorgnard, said Jodi Lackey, physician assistant at the Fort Mill facility.
The electro-analgesic device uses Odell and Sorgnard’s Combined Electrochemical Therapy, which combines electric currents and local anesthetic to mitigate or eliminate neuropathic pain, Lackey said.
Chemical nerve-blocking agents are used to quiet the nerves that are malfunctioning, then electronic signals are sent along the nerves, helping them heal and communicate properly, Lackey said.
The device “is made to affect nerves on the cellular level,” Lackey said. “It allows the body to heal itself from the inside out.”
York Primary currently is the only facility on the East Coast with this treatment.
“We feel really lucky that a little place in Fort Mill has this type of technology,” Lackey said.
Though it has a proven track record, electrotherapy is only recently gaining acceptance in the scientific community and is slow to make ground nationwide, said Shawnie Perkins, who is a physician assistant at York Primary with a background in pain management.
“It’s solid science,” Perkins said. “Now the idea is to get behind it and use it to create healing.”
York Primary’s medical director, John Murphy, a board-certified anesthesiologist, and the staff have been trained by Odell and Sorgnard to provide the treatment, Lackey said.
Sorgnard’s device works by sending electronic signals through electrodes attached to the patient’s body in the area of pain. The machine is programmed to treat specific diseases or conditions by sending signals at predetermined frequencies, Lackey said.
“It’s the most sophisticated treatment you are going to find,” Murphy said.
York Primary began using the device a month ago and has had positive responses from patients, Perkins said. “It consistently changes people’s lives for the better,” she said.
Lackey said the machine does not have many side effects and very few risks, as it can be used for patients with pacemakers, other forms of medical hardware and other conditions.
Results of Combined Electrochemical Therapy have been documented in a number of scientific journals, including Practical Pain Management in 2011 and Pain Physician in 2008.
“It dramatically affects patients’ lives,” Lackey said. “It’s got science behind it.”