Going Bold for Pain Relief: Adam's Story

There are 50 million americans living with chronic pain. We're spotlighting one patient's journey to overcome it.

Adam Hammond doesn't give up. When a skydiving accident in his 20s left him with chronic pain, the Army veteran decided to fight back.

"I'd gone through so many surgeries, tried so many medications and each doctor I went to said, 'This is the best that there is out there. If we can't do this, you're just going to have to live with it,'" said Adam, 36. "But that was unacceptable."

By the time he learned about Abbott's BurstDR™ stimulation system, Adam Hammond was open to trying anything.

A Return To Normal

Adam's chronic pain affected more than his day-to-day life. Before his accident, Adam had planned to go to Army Aviation School to become a pilot. His injuries disqualified him. They also made it difficult for him to pursue personal interests.

Spinal cord stimulation was exactly what he needed. The treatment sent constant current electrical stimulation through his spine to disrupt pain signals before they make it to the brain.

With his pain under control, Adam moved forward. He found work as a helicopter manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority. He married and had two daughters. He even got back into skydiving. For more than a decade, everything looked good.

But we knew Adam wanted more options, as one of the issues he was still facing was frequently recharging his device. This was getting in the way of his active lifestyle and his career.

A Bold Upgrade In A Low-Dose Package

Earlier this year, Abbott made a new BurstDR dosing protocol available that identifies settings with the same pain relief but in a smaller and more energy-efficient fashion. The new regimen, called BoldXR™, identified a setting that helps Adam get intermittent spinal cord stimulation at lower energy levels.

Coming off a successful 10-plus years with his previous device, Adam eagerly signed up for an upgrade. Just months ago, he became one of the first patients to have his stimulator programmed with the new BoldXR protocol. Adam's doctor directs the dosage based on his response.

"As someone who was able to control my debilitating chronic pain thanks to spinal cord stimulation for more than a decade — and knowing there have been key advances since I received my first stimulator — I was excited to learn that I was a candidate for this new approach using BurstDR stimulation," Adam said.

He continued, "I've only had my new stimulator for a few months, and I'm already seeing the benefits of the new way my stimulation is delivered. Not only am I experiencing significant and continuous pain relief, but I can live a seamless life both at work and at home with my family. I'm also benefiting from extra time on the job and with loved ones now that I don't have to take valuable time away to recharge my device."

Habit-Free Pain Relief With A High-Tech Touch

Because intermittent dosing sends pulses less frequently, Adam gets better battery life by using the low-energy dose. Devices programmed to the BoldXR protocol can last up to 10 years on a single charge. Earlier generations of the device, which Adam had, had to be charged frequently.

"We're developing new options to help people manage chronic pain, and our BoldXR dosing protocol offers a fundamentally different programming workflow for spinal cord stimulation therapy," said Allen W. Burton, M.D., Abbott's medical director of chronic pain therapies. "By extending the battery savings for a low-maintenance, non-rechargeable device while still delivering equivalent pain relief, we can continue to dramatically improve the outlook of living with a complex condition like chronic pain and give patients valuable time back as they no longer have to recharge their device."

The new dosing protocol puts habit-free relief into the hands of people with chronic pain. Chronic pain affects approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide. As an alternative to medication, Abbott's BurstDR stimulation technology has helped people like Adam take back their lives from pain — once and for all.

"Chronic pain is a prevalent problem that affects so many people. I'd encourage people living with chronic pain who have not found sufficient pain relief to talk with their doctor to determine if there might be a new and different treatment option to explore," Adam said. "Life is too short and precious to live in chronic pain."