700 Horizon Circle, Suite 206 Chalfont, PA 18914 | 127 S. 5th Street, Suite 180 Quakertown, PA 18951 | 215.395.8888

David Qu, MD and Douglas Gugger, MD, are First Pain Management Physicians in Suburban Philadelphia to Offer New Treatment Option for Chronic Pain Which Also Helps Combat Opioid Epidemic

In the wake of increased opioid use and abuse, Drs. David Qu and Douglas Gugger of the Pennsylvania Pain & Spine Institute are combating the American opioid epidemic by performing newer, and longer term pain relief procedures. On Friday, June 9, 2017, they performed the region’s first Nuvectra TM Algovita R Spinal Cord Stimulator implant. The Nuvectra Algovita SCS System is a powerfully versatile, patient-centric spinal cord stimulation system which has been FDA approved as a treatment option for chronic pain.

“This device is the newest addition to the growing field of neuromodulation devices, a way for physicians to block pain by using state-of-the-art technology. These devices have been shown to be superior to traditional back surgery because they are implanted via a minimally invasive technique and require little, if any, recovery. They are also a more sustainable alternative to traditional methods of treating chronic pain which usually involve long-term dependence on opioid pain medications,” said Dr. Qu regarding the Nuvectra Algovita system.

Chronic pain affects over 100 million Americans according to the Institute of Medicine, more than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. Chronic pain is difficult to treat, but one potential treatment option is spinal cord stimulation, or SCS. SCS works by masking or interrupting pain signals as they travel up the spinal cord to the brain. A small, rechargeable battery is implanted under the patient’s skin and connected to thin wires, called leads, which stimulate the nerves sending pain signals. The stimulation “overrides” the pain signals, and instead of feeling pain, patients may feel a tingling sensation known as paresthesia.

The Algovita SCS System is the latest device in giving patients who suffer from severe chronic pain a chance at relief without the use of opiates. This revolutionary device contains new technologies that allow doctors and patients to use more powerful nerve stimulation that can block everyday chronic pain signals from multiple body parts and regions. The Algovita system also offers the industry’s only stretchable leads, which enables better blocking of pain signals. The Algovita system was designed to be patient-centric and easy to use. The wireless Pocket Programmer fits discreetly in a hand, purse, or pocket and allows a patient to conveniently adjust their therapy on the go.

“this therapy isn’t only an advancement for pain therapy but has a far reaching impact on public health by reducing the dependency on opioids for the treatment of chronic conditions.”

~ David Qu, MD

According to the December 2016 issue of PAIN MEDICINE NEWS, this approach is “revolutionary”. Summarized in the issue was a recent panel discussion titled “America’s Opioid Dilemma: Medical Technology is Part of the Solution”. The article states that the United States is one of only three countries in the world that uses addictive opioids as the first line of treatment for chronic pain.

Dr. Gugger further shares, “relying mostly on medication to treat complicated chronic pain conditions is a thing of the past. It has left so many people addicted and still in pain once the drugs wear off. It’s a chronic cycle and eventually patients become frustrated with their lack of long term relief. Furthermore, traditional back surgery has proven to have long term side effects that often leave the patient in more pain than they were prior to surgery. This technique alleviates both concerns.”

About Pennsylvania Pain & Spine Institute

With offices in Chalfont, Quakertown and Huntingdon Valley, PA, the goal of the physicians at the Pennsylvania Pain & Spine Institute is to choose the right treatment for the right condition. They treat patients with targeted therapies rather than a one size fits all approach. Ivy league trained at Harvard and Penn, the doctors in the group trained under renowned, industry leading physicians who pioneered such advancements. This opened their eyes to what could be done as opposed to accepting the status quo. They are trained in the most advanced and safest methods for relieving pain and restoring function. Aside from better pain control and sustainable therapies, they focus on preserving patients’ health by reducing their long term dependence on opioids. They treat complex pain conditions unresolved by other physicians and they practice regenerative pain techniques which use the body’s own cells for healing. If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic pain, illness or injury, schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians today. Call 215-395-8888 or visit us online at www.pennpain.com. To learn more about the Algovita Spinal Cord Stimulation system, visit www.nuvectramed.com.

About the Author:


  1. Ann R Miller June 19, 2017 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    My mother who is 85 (currently living independently) has chronic lower extremity pain and limited tolerance for standing and walking due to spinal stenosis. Injections have not helped and she does not tolerate most pain medications due to side effects. She has a pacemaker and I know TENS is contraindicated, but I am wondering whether the the spinal stimulator is contraindicated as well. Dr Qu comes recommended by a former patient of his. I am a physical therapist in an outpatient clinic and am always interested developing a network of referral sources for my patients.

    • Christine Raynor July 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      Good afternoon Ann –

      We would be happy to see your mother for a consult with Dr Qu to discuss her options. We too are always looking to expand our referral network and welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please feel free to contact me directly at 215.395.8888 x1007. I look forward to speaking with you.

      Christine – Practice Administrator

Leave A Comment