I have been on antidepressants and pain meds for years and have suffered severe liver damage resulting in liver shut down so I am now off all meds and struggling to cope. Due to cancer only have one kidney which complicates prescription issue even further. Looking for any non med treatment that may help. I've done the diet, exercise, therapy, etc. But the depression and anxiety continues to engulf me. Does this thing offer any relief for pain, anxiety, insomnia or depression as claimed?
I'm not familiar with the Wallace Fisher stimulator in particular, but I do know a few things about spinal cord stimulators. The basic model (and all of the manufacturers put out a similar product in the same basic configuration) has a battery powered programmable logic controller that's connected to wiring that runs down your spine. Essentially the controller is programmed by a technician who "tells" the device to send out 40 hz electrical signals to the nerve pain area(s) causing pain. If it works, the electrical signal(s) will mask the actual pain signal(s) sent to your brain. What you should feel instead of pain is a tingling sensation where you used to feel pain. Based on Internet research, these devices as a group have approximately a 60% success rate defined as reducing pain by 50% or more (a subjective call on the part of the patient).
My own experience with a Medtronic stimulator was very good during the few day trial period at the hospital and initially after full surgical implant, pain relief was still very good.
I had been experiencing moderate to severe pain for 6 years when I tried this thing so, like you, I had tried many medications, exercise, etc. previously. Unfortunately every time I would begin to feel a bit better, some new chronic pain would pop up and I'd lose ground and have to start over again so this was my last resort - which was about 2.5 years ago. Ultimately the device failed completely and I've had it turned off for many months now. I guess the bottom line is that if nothing else has helped you, a stimulator is worth a trial.
Something to think about however: There are two new stimulators in the U.S. pipeline (already approved in Europe and Australia) that use different, improved technology. One is made by Nevro corporation (Nevro Senza High Frequency Stimulator -10KHZ) and the other is made by St. Jude Medical (Prodigy Spinal Cord Stimulator With Burst Technology). Both have shown results superior to the existing basic models with success rates well into the 80 percentile range. I've read so many articles and abstracts that I can't recall which one is about to hit the U.S. market, but it's worth doing some Internet research to find out.
I'm having the St. Jude stimulator installed next month and hoping for the best. My neurosurgeon is very high on this unit and has told me he's had no failures to date with the few patients he's implanted them in. I've rambled on too long, but I hope some of what I said above is of help to you.
Read their website. The responses to this question are quoting completely inaccurate science with regard to how the Fisher Wallace stimulator works. Many of my patients use it, with great success for insomnia and depression. It is 20 mins a day, of a device that uses 2AA batteries. I think it is a terrific addition to the tools available for treating insomnia, anxiety and depression symptoms. I also like mindful meditation, and both can be part of a treatment regime.
The stimulator did not work for me. (transaction 4043). The unit operates using two AA batteries . . . and so does my tv remote control. The device is FDA Cleared . . . not FDA Approved as noted on their website. If you read the Purchase Authorization Form, you will find that a social worker can approve the purchase of the device. So, the stimulator can be purchased without a prescription. So, is this medical device? I don't think so. There are four settings. Setting one . . . one blinking light. Setting two . . . two blinking lights. You get the idea. Sometimes, you can have two lights blinking at the same time. This is some highly advanced technology. I do not believe there is $40 worth of technology here. I scrolled through the reviews on their website. There are hundreds of 4 and 5 star reviews but I couldn't find any 1 or 2 star reviews. No one asked me to write a review, therefore I couldn't submit one.
I would have submitted a 1 star review because 0 stars is seemingly not an option regardless of the situation. When I returned the unit, they charged me an "arm and a leg" for the unused sponges. They did not provide a complete refund of the purchased price even though I returned the unit according to their rules. I paid via credit card . . . but had to wait many weeks for a refund to arrive in the form of a check. I had to call them to remind them to send the refund. You can purchase this very costly unit for $ 699 or you can hold your garage door opener to the side of your head for free.
I can just report my results. The device was not helpful in relieving my depression. I used daily as instructed and increased the strength as per instruction. I do understand that this may not work for everyone and decided to send it back for a refund as advertised. However the company stated that a pop up came up upon check out that voided the return policy after applying a discount offer. I received no such pop up upon checking out. My receipt also did not reflect a no return policy. Very disappointed in customer service.
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