SENSUS Blog

How is SENSUS Optimized for Painful Diabetic Neuropathy?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

SENSUS was designed to meet the unique needs of those suffering from neuropathic pain conditions such as painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN).  People with diabetes and PDN often have physiology that responds differently to electrotherapy than that of someone without diabetes. For instance, nerve degeneration and elevated skin resistance to electrical stimulation are typical in those with diabetes. Effective pain relief may therefore require a more powerful device with higher stimulation output. Most conventional TENS devices do not have the capability of delivering the stimulation characteristics that are needed for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and therefore may have limited efficacy and utility for treating PDN.
 
SENSUS is a wearable pain relief device designed to provide the user the freedom to be active while they are receiving therapy. Conventional TENS units include multiple individual electrodes connected to lead wires, which may be awkward to place for pain in the lower legs and feet and it would inhibit the user’s mobility. The SENSUS and integrated electrode are placed on the upper calf. The device is slim enough to be worn discreetly under clothing so the user can go about their daily activities while therapy is being provided.
 
Since PDN often disrupts sleep, traditional TENS devices are not an option for night time pain relief because they cannot be used during sleep. SENSUS is the only nerve stimulator approved by the FDA for use during sleep so it is an option for around the clock pain relief. 
 
Finally, most people with diabetes have complicated treatment programs involving multiple medications and devices such as blood glucose meters. Consequently, many of them will want to avoid an addition to their therapeutic regime that is unnecessarily complicated. Unlike conventional TENS devices, SENSUS is highly automated and can be setup by at home in just a few minutes. Therapy is initiated and stopped by pressing the sole button on the device and will automatically run throughout the day without any management on the part of the user.
 
The SENSUS Pain Management System has been optimized for people with diabetes, and includes advanced technology to enhance convenience while maximizing pain relief. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

The Impact of Neuropathic Pain on Productivity

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A study published in the October 2014 issue of ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research looked at the impact of neuropathic pain on 624 subjects across 33 community-based physician practices.  For those suffering from neuropathic pain, the results will not be surprising.  In the workplace, neuropathic pain resulted in employment disability in 24% of subjects overall and increased to 37% for those having severe neuropathic pain.  When looking at impairment in performing regular daily activities outside of work, 57% of subjects reported activity impairment. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Chronic Pain

How can SENSUS detect when I’m sleeping? Why does it matter?

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

SENSUS can detect the orientation of your lower leg, thanks to a built-in piece of hardware, called an accelerometer.  If your leg is in a horizontal, or near-horizontal position for an extended period of time (1-2 hours or more), SENSUS will know that that you are most likely asleep.  If your device is set to automatically restart therapy every other hour, SENSUS will reduce the therapeutic intensity you experience during sleep by roughly 20%.  This reduction in intensity should allow you to retain the pain relief benefits of SENSUS, but minimize disruptions to your sleep as the device cycles in and out of active therapy sessions throughout the night.

If you are watching a little TV with your feet up and get up periodically, the sleep detection will not impact your normal therapeutic intensity level.  In any case, you will be able to tell whether your device is in sleep mode by looking at the blinking light on the front of the device.  The green light will blink once per second during a normal therapy session, but only once every five seconds while it is in sleep mode.  You don’t need to do anything special to get your device out of the reduced sleep intensity mode.  Once you are up and about for more than a few minutes, the device will automatically revert to your normal therapeutic intensity the next time it restarts a therapy session.  However, we do recommend that you remove your device for a period of time after waking up to prevent skin irritation.  When you put SENSUS back on and start therapy, the device will restart at your normal intensity. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in SENSUS Operation

Wearable Medical Technology for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Friday, October 17th, 2014

The development of consumer oriented wearable technology for fitness and health applications has exploded over the past 5 years. These devices monitor various physiological parameters such as activity, heart rate, and skin conductance with the intention of providing users with feedback that will improve their fitness level, sleep quality, and potentially certain aspects of their health. Although these devices can impact user behavior in important ways, they are not directly therapeutic. Furthermore, they tend to target the younger and healthier segment of the population. People with diseases such as diabetes, chronic pain, and sleep disorders are generally not benefiting from the availability of wearable technology.  
 
SENSUS has changed that. SENSUS is the first truly wearable medical technology for the treatment of chronic pain. Although the technology is based on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), SENSUS has two distinct design elements that differentiate it from traditional TENS devices and define it as wearable technology. 
 
First is the wearable design. SENSUS is worn on the leg, just below the knee.  It’s comfortable, there are no wires and it may be covered by clothing. Beyond just being “worn”, wearable technology must integrate with the life of the user.  SENSUS does just that. Rather than therapy being a disruptive event, SENSUS is designed to integrate pain therapy into the user’s normal daily activity, including sleeping. Traditional TENS devices typically require the user to interrupt their normal activity each time a therapy is required. These traditional devices are not wearable, but rather they attach to the user, typically with wires, and lack the convenience and discreetness SENSUS provides.
 
Second, SENSUS minimizes the amount of interaction required between the user and the device. The SENSUS technology is auto-adjusting TENS which means the sophistication of the device controls many of the functions traditional TENS users must do manually. Not only does this provide convenience to the users, the technology is optimized to meet the specific stimulation needs of the individual user to optimize pain relief. Specifically, each SENSUS device is configured to the unique stimulation requirements of each user without the user having to manually control the device with dials. During a session the stimulation intensity will automatically increase to compensate for nerve desensitization that naturally occurs during TENS use. While wearing SENSUS, it will automatically start therapy every other hour. Lastly, during sleep, SENSUS automatically decreases the intensity to minimize disruption during sleep. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Wearable Technology

Benefits of Exercise for Neuropathic Pain

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Neuropathic pain can set off a vicious cycle for sufferers. Healthcare providers frequently recommend patients engage in more daily activity, including regular exercise, as a treatment for the underlying cause of their chronic pain, such as diabetes. Unfortunately, the pain itself may prevent the patient from being more active. A recent article in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, “Benefits of exercise intervention in reducing neuropathic pain”, outlined the impact of exercise on peripheral neuropathy. While most people are aware of the positive impact that routine exercise can have on diseases such as diabetes, the article’s authors also review studies that show how exercise can preserve and promote function of the peripheral nerves and reduce the neuropathic pain sensations.  
 
SENSUS may be a good solution for people experiencing chronic pain who would like to be able to incorporate more activity into their daily lives. The device is a convenient, wearable electrical nerve stimulator that offers patients a fast-acting, non-narcotic chronic pain relief option. SENSUS has no side effects, such as lethargy, that may deter a user from exercise. Users may put the device on their leg under clothing and go about their daily activities, including the pursuit of fitness goals. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

Why does it take up to 15 minutes to get relief?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

SENSUS employs transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is thought to work through the central nervous system. The device stimulates the sensory nerves that travel from the lower legs and feet to the brain through pathways in the spinal cord, prompting the body to release natural peptides (i.e., small proteins) called enkephalins that decrease the perception of pain. Although your central nervous system is releasing these native pain relieving chemicals, the process takes time to register an effect.  Some people will experience relief in a shorter amount of time, but users should allow up to 15 minutes for relief after starting a therapy session with SENSUS.   Fortunately, the diminished perception of pain may linger for up to an hour after the conclusion of a therapy session.  If your device is set to restart automatically, your next session will commence one hour after the prior session finishes for optimal pain relief. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in SENSUS Operation

How Is Therapy with SENSUS Different From Other TENS Devices?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

With conventional TENS, the user must start and stop therapy manually. When activated, these devices run at a constant intensity level throughout the therapy session unless the user manually intervenes. When stimulating for a prolonged period at the same intensity level, the stimulation may become less effective as a result of nerve desensitization. This is when the nerves ‘get used to’ the stimulation. Also, conventional TENS devices carry warnings against use while sleeping.

SENSUS optimizes the user’s experience and pain relief in a number of ways. SENSUS will automatically restart therapy every other hour, so the user can put the device on and get relief throughout the day or night without having to think about it. Within a given therapy session, SENSUS automatically increases the stimulation intensity over the course of the session to compensate for nerve desensitization. This helps ensure that the stimulation the user is receiving is optimized for therapy. Lastly, SENSUS is the only TENS device approved by the FDA for use during sleep. This allows people suffering from sleep disruption due to chronic pain a TENS options for overnight pain relief. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in SENSUS Operation

How Is the Design of SENSUS Different From Other TENS Devices?

Monday, July 21st, 2014

A conventional TENS device typically includes a control unit, wires and individual electrode pads.  These devices rely on the user to determine, and manually set, the stimulation levels through the various control dials on the device.  The user must also place multiple electrodes in specific locations and then connect the electrodes to the control units with lead wires.  These wires and individual electrodes inhibit the user’s movement and usually require the user to remain stationary throughout the entire therapy session.

SENSUS has a unique, pre-configured electrode that easily snaps directly onto the back of the device.  The device and electrode are then secured to the upper calf by a Velcro strap.  A single button press activates therapy at the therapeutic intensity level that was automatically calculated for the user prior to the first use.

SENSUS is low profile so that it may be worn discreetly under clothing and it is lightweight so it is comfortable to wear throughout the day or during sleep.  The user may go about their daily activities like walking the dog, working in the garden or sleeping through the night, while benefitting from pain relief SENSUS provides. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in SENSUS Operation

How Can SENSUS Help Improve Your Sleep?

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Chronic pain and poor sleep are closely associated. As many as 50-70% of people with chronic pain also suffer from sleep problems. For example, about 50% of people with painful diabetic neuropathy, a common form of chronic pain in people with diabetes, have sleep disturbances or insomnia.
 
Chronic pain prevents people from falling asleep and maintaining restful sleep. At the same time, a chronic lack of sleep amplifies pain. The inter-relationship between chronic pain and poor sleep underscores the importance of treating both conditions in order to improve pain, sleep, health and quality of life.

Here’s how SENSUS can help. SENSUS may be used at bedtime to help you fall asleep, and throughout the night to help maintain high quality sleep. SENSUS provides pain relief by stimulating the nerves that carry normal non-painful sensations to your brain. Stimulation of these nerves changes the levels of certain natural chemicals in your nervous system that decreases your pain. SENSUS is the only transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator approved by the FDA for use during sleep; so you can be confident that it is both safe and effective for you to use overnight. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Sleep Disorders

The Cycle of Chronic Pain and Disrupted Sleep

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Many people with chronic pain also suffer from disrupted sleep.  A recent article published in Neurology Reviews, Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Pain and Disturbed Sleep, looked at this relationship and the role that some pain medications may have in further disrupting sleep. Read More

Posted by NeuroMetrix in Sleep Disorders