Bad Back? iPhone and Wii technology to the rescue

Jason Greathouse suffered a herniated disk three years ago and suffered daily pain that shot from his lower back--right down his leg.

He said he felt like a bystander watching his life.

"You get used to just dealing with life in that general fashion,” Jason recalled. “Heavily medicated to make it through you normal life, as normal as you are anyway."

Jason's life changed late last year when the Food and Drug Administration approved motion sensing technology inside this neuro-stimulation system.

It's based on the same technology that's in your smartphone or Wii Fit.

"This device, in my opinion, is a game changer," Dr. Ralph Rashbaum said while hold the device in the palm of his hand.

Dr. Rashbaum is a spine surgeon at the Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas.

Before the motion sensing chip was approved patients would use a remote control to adjust the intensity of the stimulation that blocks pain.

It was a hassle.

“Often times it required so much attention to this and so much fidgeting with this and reprogramming that that the patients would often utilize the device not to its maximum beneficial mode,” Dr. Rashbaum said. “They expected good instead of best."

Dr. Rashbaum implanted Jason's stimulation system with the motion chip inside and placed tiny electrodes near the spinal cord.

For two weeks Jason used a remote control to adjust the pain-blocking intensity needed for every position, sitting, standing, lying down--with the sensor recording everything.

Then it was back to the clinic for some fine tuning--now Jason doesn't need a remote control because the sensor knows his every move and automatically adjusts stimulation intensity.

For Jason it means fewer pain pills, more sleep and more quality time with his wife and kids.

"I’m able to play with my kids again,” Jason said. “I've got three kids, 9, 8 and 3 and you know the last thing they want to do is see their dad do is come home from work and go straight to bed."

Doctor Rashbaum said the system costs between $40,000.00 and $60,000.00 and is usually covered by insurance because while the price tag may seem high, it’s less than the projected cost of a lifetime on medications.

For Jason--the sensor isn't a game changer--it's a life saver.

"You can actually get back to living again," Jason said.