Mainstay Medical was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Dr. Danny Sachs. The company’s ReActiv8 neurostimulator is intended to treat chronic low back pain caused by arthrogenic muscle inhibition. This is a neuroprotective condition in which the brain reflexively attempts to limit motor stimulation and movement in muscles surrounding a joint in response to damage or injury to the joint. In patients with this type of back pain, an initial injury triggers this reflexive inhibition, and the brain tries to limit painful movement by altering nerve transmissions to the deep stabilizing muscles of the spine, causing a loss of motor control, an unstable spine, and greater susceptibility to reinjury.
According to Mainstay, arthrogenic muscle inhibition causes the vicious cycle of recurring pain, instability, and reinjury commonly seen in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. As reported by Medtech Insight:
The ReActiv8 System attempts to interrupt this cycle by using neurostimulation to reactivate the motor control system driving the deep stabilizing muscles of the spine. “It’s a completely different approach to back pain,” says Peter Crosby, Mainstay’s CEO. “Most neurostimulation approaches to back pain seek to block pain signals from whatever the source. Our goal is to fix the root cause of the back pain, which is a loss of motor control to the deep stabilizing muscles of the spine.”
In September 2012 Mainstay Medical announced that had completed an oversubscribed Series B financing round for $20.0M. As part of the financing, Mainstay Medical relocated its head office and executive leadership to Dublin, Ireland from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to Mainstay’s patent US8428728-B2:
“It is the conjecture and surmise of the inventor that one source of pain results from mechanical instability of the back. Reaction to pain may in fact induce further instabilities within the back, setting up an overall decline in back health. It is the conjecture and surmise of the inventor that episodic electrical stimulation of particular groups of muscles and associated nerves, ligaments, or joint capsules within the lower back can both reduce the severity of pain and reduce the frequency of pain exacerbations by enhancing stability of the mechanical structures of the lower back. The stimulation may serve to “train” the muscles and improve the tone, endurance, and strength of the muscles. The stimulation may also alter the stiffness of the back acutely during stimulation. The stimulation may also improve voluntary or involuntary motor control of muscles involved in spinal stabilization. The stimulation may also improve reflex arc activity between mechanoreceptors embedded within muscles, ligaments, or joint capsules, and the spinal cord, thereby enabling quick stabilization of the spinal column in the event of unexpected loads or movements. The stimulation may also be used to inhibit muscle spasticity and muscle spasm. Protocols have been developed for the use of muscle stimulation to accomplish each of these objectives to treat a variety of clinical disorders.”
Company’s website: http://www.mainstay-medical.com/