Is the pain the only "problem", or is it syptomatic of more damage that might be happening? If it's just pain of course that would be great - of course not using the opiates is really nice, but I also have to wonder about loosing an important feedback loop in a system, and not abuse this as a panacea. From the sound of it in this specific (and I am sure many other) soldiers story this is a very important tool to increasing the quality of life for many people. On a personal note - would this be useful in joint and other pain?
This is a dramatic illustration of the fact that incremental treatments often lead to an unsatisfactory endpoint. It is important to look at the total medical situation to implement a comprehensive solution. Once the pain cycle is effectively managed, the possibility of functional improvement can be realized. The improvement in quality of life is obvious ... and there are also savings in lifetime medical costs.
Justin Minyard also serves as national spokesperson for www.RaceAgainstPain.com where he is performing yeoman's work highlighting the issues faced by vets who have returned from war to cope with a lifetime of chronic pain. One of the group's motto's is an insight attributed to Confucius: "It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop."
Spinal pain is very terrible. At young age many men and women do ignore it but after a certain age its just so difficult. This is an inspiring story for both medical and technology. I think the soldiers all over the world wold benfit from this.
@Warren3, I completely agree. This is a good read: Engineers at Boston Scientific -- and all engineers -- should feel proud they're doing such good things for people in need. I hope this tech is available to all vets, and anyone for that matter.
Amongst the difficulties presented by war, and the role technology plays there, this article was good for me to see; positive perseverance by the soldier/airman/marine and an[other] example of technology improving life.