Foot doctors use tool to distract from shot pain

2013-01-09T00:00:00Z 2013-01-10T00:37:05Z Foot doctors use tool to distract from shot painVanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Podiatrists at a Crown Point foot clinic are taking the pinch out of shots.

Drs. Michael Nirenberg and Michael Lacey, of Friendly Foot Care, 50 W. 94th Place, recently started administering shots with the help of Vibration Anesthesia Device.

The small tool is held against the skin at the injection site as a light shines on the area. The shot is administered the usual way, but the vibration confuses the patient’s brain, Nirenberg said.

Nine out of 10 patients say the pain is less when the device is used, he said.

“Some don’t feel it at all,” Nirenberg said. “It’s a better experience.”

Fear of shots can be debilitating, keeping people away from the doctor. Heel spurs and other foot maladies can be painful to endure.

“For these people, it takes away the fear,” Nirenberg said.

With podiatry, the device is an even bigger aid because feet are sensitive parts of the body, he said.

Lacey said he and Nirenberg have been trying different ways to reduce shot pain with the device.

They discovered the longer the device is used against the skin, the better the experience, Nirenberg said.

Pairing the device with shots is becoming the standard at their practice. It can be used in conjunction with other shots, not only those related to podiatry.

Nirenberg said one of the reasons the device may not be more widely used is because a lot of tools marketed to medical professionals sound like gimmicks.

The device costs a couple hundred dollars, and the clinic plans to buy another one so each doctor can carry it with him during the day, rather than share it. Use of the device does not cost the patient extra, Nirenberg said.

“When you can give someone a shot and they cannot feel it. That’s the best,” Nirenberg said.

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