CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) - UPMC Pinnacle says it's treating patients with an innovative machine that repairs nerve damage and relieves pain.
Dr. Seth Steber says Neurogenx is becoming increasingly popular.
After living with diabetes for 10 years, Ron Gilbert's pain kept getting worse.
"It just felt like needles stuck at the end of your toes," said Gilbert, a Carlisle resident, "a lot of burning pain."
The 68-year-old great-grandfather has neuropathy, too, which caused him extra discomfort at night. So Steber suggested he try Neurogenx, which treats nerve pain.
"It's good now," said Gilbert. "It's a lot better. I don't have the stinging pain."
"It's for patients who have peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome, even pain syndromes like fibromyalgia," said Steber, a podiatrist practicing in Carlisle.
About 20 million people in the United States have neuropathy. Steber says many try multiple medicines but don't find relief.
Steber says Neurogenx is the only FDA-approved device in the country that goes to a certain frequency of electricity.
"Most people know of a TENS unit, or an electric stimulator or a high-volt stimulation," said Steber. "This one has a frequency that's ten times the amount of that, and as you get past a normal frequency range, it can help restore the nerve to normal function."
Steber says the key is repairing the nerve instead of suppressing symptoms like many medicines do. He admits nothing is a cure-all for everyone, but he says studies prove the machine's effectiveness.
Steber says that after about 12 treatments that last 40 minutes each, many of his patients don't need to come back for more.
He says because the machine is so expensive, there are only about six of them in Pennsylvania. He also says he's had to perform less surgeries because of the treatment.
"It's amazing because these are people who have had issues for 10 to 15 years, and all of sudden after two or three weeks, or up to six weeks, it has totally changed how their nerves are working," said Steber.
Gilbert is one of the patients experiencing long-term relief.
"I would definitely recommend it," he said.
Steber says UPMC Pinnacle has been successful in getting the treatment covered by insurance.