Dramatic Reduction in Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain Reported with Peripheral Nerve Stimulator

Dramatic Reduction in Post-Stroke Shoulder Pain Reported with Peripheral Nerve Stimulator

By Staff

Clinical results reported at the 2017 North American Neuromodulation Society meeting show that peripheral nerve stimulation provides meaningful relief for people suffering from post-stroke should pain (PSSP).   Post stroke shoulder pain is experienced by anywhere between 30 and 70 percent of stroke sufferers.

Dr. Porter McRoberts, a trained Physiatrist and Interventional Spine and Pain Management Specialist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, shared data indicating that peripheral nerve stimulation is a promising treatment for post-stroke shoulder pain (PSSP) patients when compared to the alternative options for pain management.

“Post-stroke shoulder pain is a condition that occurs in approximately 30 to 70 percent of stroke patients.  This condition contributes to a loss of upper limb use and results in an inability to perform basic daily tasks such as getting dressed or tooth brushing,” said Dr. McRoberts.  “While treatments such as oral medication and injections can have a short term impact on managing pain, neuromodulation devices, such as the StimRouter, are designed to target pain at the point of origin and provide relief in a minimally invasive manner with long term effect.”

In a poster presentation, Dr. McRoberts shared data from seven patients that were implanted with the StimRouter in an effort to manage their post-stroke shoulder pain.  Using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) patients measured pain both before the procedure and up to four months after implant. The recipients received care across four different U.S. hospitals in New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Dr. McRoberts and his colleagues presented the following:

PSSP patients implanted with the StimRouter Peripheral Nerve Stimulator experienced an average of 70% reduction in their chronic pain using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

Peripheral Nerve Stimulation is a promising treatment for PSSP, especially in light of the alternatives for pain management.

The results also show that peripheral nerve stimulation targeting the axillary nerve is a promising treatment for post-stroke shoulder pain patients.  Implantable peripheral neuromodulation therapies can be a safe and effective pain management tool as an adjunct to other therapies like Physical / Occupational therapy to help improve mobility and quality of life.

“The StimRouter has already shown promising results in treating chronic peripheral nerve pain and we are honored to now be sharing its potential for relieving the pain many post-stroke shoulder patients encounter,” said Todd Cushman, President and CEO at Bioness.  “Our goal at Bioness is to help patients return to their pre-stroke lives by reducing pain and getting them back into rehabilitation therapy by a Physical/Occupational Therapist. This data is another step forward showing that it is possible for post-stroke patients to regain control of their lives.”

The StimRouter  — the implantable neuromodulation device used in Dr. Roberts’ study — is an FDA cleared, peripheral nerve stimulator designed to treat chronic pain of a peripheral nerve origin.  It is a non-drug medical device that is used as an adjunct to other therapies.  The implantable device provides electrical stimulation via a small implanted lead to a target peripheral nerve.

Its manufacturer, Bioness, Inc., states that the “StimRouter is a minimally invasive procedure consisting of an implanted lead, external pulse transmitter (EPT) and conductive electrode, controlled by a small, handheld wireless patient programmer.”

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Authored by: Staff

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Hi Tim,

Sorry for the delay in answering this Tim. I’m not sure where the “nemaisx” originated, but all replies go to a reply section seen ONLY by NationalPainReport editors prior to review - they are not shared with any outside party, nor is NationalPainReport.com owned by any Government, Pharma, or Medical device company - although we’re always looking for advertisers! 😉

Tim Mason

Our replies on these threads go to nemaisx. I wonder who and what that is.


I may be cutting off my nose to spite y face but I won’t touch anything that hasn’t been on the market for at least 10 years. Doctors don’t like that

Jean Price

It’s hard to get the truth on new products! There are actually companies hired to sway public opinion for their clients and use everything from false data reports and creative articles….to even faking emails and Facebook accounts as if they were individuals…to do their marketing! Even the search engine sites don’t give a true picture at times… because on some, data can be entered by anyone…and if traced back to its origin, can lead right back to advertising companies or the manufacturer’s own public relations/marketing people!! So if anyone considers a new medicine or a new treatment option that is offered, researching it may not even give an accurate picture of risk and effectiveness. Scary!

How do we then get the information we need to make decisions? It’s even difficult to trust what the doctor knows or have been told about the product!! Because they are faced with the same fallacies if they try to research it too. Just be aware, I suppose…and question anything with excessive good results. Like most or many or several studies…that may mean absolutely nothing! Several studies could be less that 20 patients!! There is a TED talk about all this…the technique is called “grass rooting”…and it will stagger the imagination! For us with chronic pain, especially with the current mindset on our providers offering anything but known, effective medication….this can present real difficulties. Some doctors will set up a patient to talk with others who have had procedures, if asked…yet again, that’s one person who had success, so you have to get an idea of how many didn’t! With this article and the device reported on, I imagine it was hard for the manufacturers to differentiate how much the device versus physical therapy and just normal healing time helped. And not having many listed risks or potential problems doesn’t mean there aren’t any! It just means the full details might not have been set out here! That’s our world, unfortunately!

Chronic pain patients and the clinicians who treat them have a healthy skepticism toward new technology, and they should. The clinical data presented at the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) meeting last weekend illustrates the post-launch experience of the StimRouter Neuromodulation System implanted at four different hospitals in the US. This is data that compliments the much larger clinical study data mandated by the FDA to obtain 510(k) clearance to market the product. The data suggests what our mission has been all along, that the StimRouter is complimentary to rehabilitation by a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapists to improve mobility and increase activity by significantly reducing chronic pain. We fully understand and agree with those who report that there is no “silver bullet” for chronic pain and we are committed to investing in the right clinical work to show what the StimRouter System is and, as importantly, what it is not. Sincerely, Mark

Tim Mason

Only 50% of those that actually get one of the keep it. Explanation rate is high. You have to go to he FDA website to see the real values. Search the FDA website for stimulator recalls and all the data is there. Stimulators are a business model. Sales persons are aggressive. This market is expected to be worth 12 billion by 2020. Follow the dollar.


Kathy C — my thoughts exactly.

Ben Hurtin Longfellow

I am completely “down” for clinical studies, making progress for chronic pain patients, stroke related pain and even the different uses of stimulators. However, non cancer chronic pain patients have been and, are currently “at the end of their rope”. Even before the CDC “guideline” was published and enforced. Physicians are being discriminated against very much “individualy”.If a physician/clinician have had one patient that has lost their life while being prescribed opioid medication for chronic pain, the guidline restricts them in the ability to prescribe sufficient opioid medication to their individual, differently affected, need to be evaluated and prescribed differently, chronic pain patients. Our caretakers are being
discriminated against by the “guideline” with their state license being suspended or revoked if they do not follow the “guidline” set forth .with prescribing opioid medication. The CDC states their “guideline” is just that. A guidline. We, the patients, know better. Chronic pain is in fact, a physical handicap. Policy makers do not dispute this. Then why would any policy making, government authority purposely discriminate against the professional healer to treat each individual chronic pain patient to sufficiently ease their handicap? Tell you why. The “one shoe fits all” opioid prescribing mentality is the quickest, easiest, route to achieve better statistics regarding the mortality rate in the chronic pain opioid prescribed people. The illicit opioid users as well as the opioid prescribed patients are all inclusive in the opioid “treated” people. Doesn’t matter how, the statistical results are achieved. As long as the results are achieved for the “record” of the policy maker that wiil be entered into the history books to be preserved. We, the chronic pain stricken, welcome alternative treatment for our individual handicaps. The obvious problem we have is, how do we cope with, diminishing caretakers in the chronic pain field, a multi-million dollar public campaign by the policy makers to stereotype ALL opioid prescribed chronic pain patients into one group, the addicts. Millions of Americans have already been through or are sill incorporating alternative chronic pain treatment along with prescribe opiods and it has been working for decades. Radical reduction in the authority of our professional caretakers to ease the suffering of a portion of mankind. You can’t have but “so much” medication regardless of the physicians evaluation of….each……individual….chronic …..pain…..patient. Jeremiah:30:15 - There is none to plead the cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. (King James Version of the Holy Bible.)

Kathy C

Don’t get too excited people. What we have here is another Industry Funded Study of a Brand Name Implantable device. Often these conclusions are overstated, because it is important to get that Proprietary Name out there. This was “Study” of seven people.that claims they averaged a 70% “reduction in pain.” Seven is a very small number.
In some of these “Studies,” the reader has no way of knowing how many participants they started with. This is one of the ways they get the desired outcome. People drop out, because the benefits did not outweigh the inconvenience of participation, no reason at all, or even side effects they would rather not report.
20 Years ago there were similar “Studies” of implantable devices, most of them are no longer in use, or were used anyway, and led to infections and other problems. There is so much money involved, that often these result are overstated. These “Studies” often contain a Disclaimer. Often when the original Study methods are carefully gone over, the results are not so clear, and the language is misleading. This is the strategy of an Industry with unlimited amounts of money. They carefully reword the “Study” to get the Conclusions they want. These Conclusions are often repeated in the Financial Pages, for Investment Purposes. One positive mention can mean millions in profits, even if the device is pulled from the Market later.
The General Public gets manipulated to believe there is a “Cure.” while desperate Patients will try anything for relief, as we saw with the older generation of implantable devices. Those devices were profitable, so they were foisted on a vulnerable population. Physicians had no other options for pain. Due to the misleading Marketing, and the pervasive nature of this Advertising, these devices were presented as a “Cure.” The Medical Industry did not appear to notice there were problems. The Industry has clever Spin Masters, able to dispel, reports of injury, diminish the validity of Patients reporting problems and being hospitalized.
The Industry has also been working on other ways to deflect patient Reporting. The confusion and obfuscation, with alleged Mental Health issues,, or Drug Addiction further removes patients from reporting adverse events, and undermines their credibility. This campaign was not accidental, it is beneficial to the Industry, and one more way they have manipulated the public with a lot of help from the Media. if or when these devices are widely available the Side Effects will be described away as the Patients failing rather than the device. We all have to read between the lines. We cannot expect Physicians or Regulators to do it anymore. We are in the Post Fact World.