Treatment for Pain with TMS

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects thousands of Australians. It is a complex problem that often does not respond well to traditional medical treatments.

Medicare  & DVA covered*
No out-of-pocket fees**
Non-invasive treatment

* No-out-of-pocket fees for Medicare patients who meet the Depression eligibility criteria.
** Read more about the cost of TMS and Medicare coverage

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain. TMS has been found to be an effective treatment for chronic pain, and is a safe and well-tolerated treatment. TMS is a promising treatment for chronic pain, and is an important treatment option for patients with chronic pain.

TMS Treatment for Chronic Pain

Pain management and treatment through Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has become an increasingly popular avenue for patients seeking relief from chronic pain. TMS treatment is a non-invasive technique that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain involved in pain perception and processing. This modality offers a potential alternative to traditional pharmaceutical interventions, which can sometimes have undesirable side effects or limited efficacy.

At the core of TMS lies the ability to modulate neural activity within targeted regions of the brain. This is achieved through the generation of magnetic fields, which can penetrate the skull without causing harm to surrounding tissues. By focusing on areas responsible for pain processing, such as the primary motor cortex, TMS can effectively alleviate or even abolish chronic pain symptoms in some patients. The precise mechanisms behind this phenomenon are still under investigation, but it is believed that TMS may work by altering neural plasticity and promoting the formation of new connections between nerve cells.

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Which type of TMS for Pain treatment is used?

Among the two primary types of TMS, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is most commonly utilised for pain management. rTMS involves delivering rapid pulses of magnetic stimulation to specific areas of the brain, which can aid in regulating neural activity and alleviating pain.

Promising results from rTMS for chronic pain management, specifically targeting conditions such as fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain and migraines have been seen. The technique is particularly advantageous, as it does not require surgery or implanting devices within the body. By targeting specific regions responsible for pain perception and processing, rTMS can modulate these areas’ activity, potentially providing long-lasting and even permanent pain relief for some individuals.

As a non-pharmacological intervention, rTMS offers an alternative to conventional pain management methods, which often involve medication and invasive procedures. The procedure’s minimal side effects make it an attractive option for patients who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to traditional treatments.

What happens during TMS Pain Treatment?

Diagram showing what happens during TMS therapy treatment

click on the image to enlarge

TMS is done using a special machine which has a magnetic coil attached to a mechanical ‘arm’. This allows for an electromagnetic pulse to be delivered to a precise region in the brain. While receiving TMS, the patient is seated in a comfortable reclined position. The TMS coil is placed above the patient’s head at the correct position.

During the first treatment session, the patient’s individual stimulation dose (ie. the amount of energy required to stimulate the patient’s brain cells) will be determined. This is a unique dose and must be determined for each individual patient. This dose may be rechecked during the treatment course to ensure patients are getting the correct stimulation level.

Once the correct placement and stimulation dose have been determined, the TMS machine will deliver precise impulses to a small section of the brain.

After the treatment session, patients are immediately able to drive and resume normal activities. No medications are given, and patients are completely awake during the whole process.

How Can TMS Help Me?
Take the TMS Quiz to find out more.


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Dr Shanek Wick – Author Bio

Dr. Shanek Wick, a distinguished Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, specialises in holistic mental health care with a focus on interventional psychiatry, neurostimulation, and addiction.

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