NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) — Military veterans across the nation are living with chronic debilitating pain.
“On some days, I don’t want to get out of bed,” said Duane Lee, former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant. “Sometimes it makes it hard for me to sleep.”
“I’ve actually had seven major surgeries while I was on active duty, so my pain levels are pretty high throughout the day,” said Will Seeley, retired U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3.
While the simple answer may seem like a prescription for medication, the answer isn’t as clear cut as one would think.
“I needed to take them on a daily basis, otherwise I couldn’t function,” Seeley said.
Lee said he’s seen the negative effects of opioids and would rather deal with the pain.
“I’ve seen what it’s done to people and even some of my friends,” he said. “I will never go to any type of opiates.”
Lee and Seeley are on the road to recovery, and BioWave, a non-opioid FDA cleared option, is helping them along the way.
“BioWave is a smarter pain blocking technology,” said Brad Siff, founder and President of BioWave. “The purpose of BioWave is to help people lead a pain-free life and to be able to get back to doing whatever activity they love doing.”
During treatment, therapeutic electrical signals are sent through the skin, into deep tissue and directly to pain nerves where an “electrical field forms around the nerve and blocks the transmission of the pain signal to the brain.”
WEB EXTRA: Brad Siff, founder and President of BioWave, discusses BioWave
Siff said each 30-minute treatment has an accumulative effect.
“What’s unique is that because we are blocking the pain signal at the nerve inside the body, we get this very long carry over following the treatment so you don’t need to have it on all day long.”
However, the form of treatment doesn’t work for everybody.
“It has to do with patient physiology,” Siff said. “Is the nerve in a location we can get the electrical field to encompass the nerve? So there’s a number of variables involved.”
“I would say 90% in my experience get at least 50-60% pain relief from this,” said Dr. Arpad Fejos, pain management at Orthopedic Associates in Middletown.
He said patients with depression anxiety will really benefit from the treatment.
“They tend to be more prone to depression, anxiety and a lot of other life stressors that could lead to abusing narcotics,” Fejos said.
Those who need still opioids are closely monitored.
“We still do use narcotic medications long term in a lot of cases because sometimes that’s the right fit for the patient,” Fejos said. “It’s the only thing that is going to work for them.”
Seeley now works for BioWave. For the most part, he says he’s pain-free.
“I like to think I’m kinda headstrong,” he said. “I pushed myself to get off it.”
Lee said BioWave was a “game-changer” for him.
“It brought me to where I don’t have to pill seek,” he said. “I’m actually doing better than okay. I’m doing pretty great.”
If a doctor or therapist at the VA approves BioWave, it’s covered.
Worker’s Compensation covers the prescription home device in most states.
There is an over-the-counter version, and just like other over-the-counter devices and drugs, it is not covered.
For more information on BioWave, visit their official website.
WEB EXTRA: Will Seeley, retired U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3, talks to Jocelyn Maminta about using BioWave