New Technology Brings Pain Relief Without Opioids

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


Brad Bartholomew was in a bad car accident. After 28 surgeries and 18 years of prescription pain medication Brad was miserable taking medications that weren’t even helping the pain. That’s when Brad came to The University of Kansas Health System and decided to try the most advanced technology in pain relief…an implantable pain pump. It changed his life.

An implanted pain pump delivers pain medication directly to the source of the pain, in most cases the spine. This new version of the pump gives patients the pain relief they need, without the side effects and risk of addiction. Prior versions of the pain pump had a permanent setting where patients received a continued stream of medication. Now doctors can program the pain pump to fit each patient. Patients can even administer small doses as needed and feel immediate effects. Doctors say it gets people off addictive prescription pain meds, which in most cases aren’t even helping the pain, so they can lead a pain free, drug free life.

In the video, Dr. Dawood Sayed, an interventional pain physician with The University of Kansas Health System, explains how the pain pump works. It is implanted in the lower back and small amounts of pain medication are released directly to the spine. This way of distributing pain relief bypasses the brain receptors that often cause addiction to traditional prescription medications. Dr. Sayed says patients really need to be motivated to come off of their regular medications. By weaning them off those meds it’s a way to reset pain signals so they begin to need less pain relief, therefore the pain pump only needs to release small doses when needed.

The video also includes in interview with Brad Bartholomew, who explains how he struggled with pain for so many years, and how the pain pump has made him a changed man. The video also shows animation of the pain pump and how it works.