Understanding Spinal Cord Stimulation
Take remote control of your chronic pain.
Spinal cord stimulation therapy provides an advanced alternative to people who are suffering. If you have been dealing with chronic pain, you know how its tentacles work their way into virtually every aspect of your daily life, holding you back from enjoying even the simplest tasks that you used to take for granted. While spinal cord stimulation is not for everybody, it may help you free yourself from the insidious octopus of debilitating pain.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
This therapeutic approach to pain, also known as neurostimulation, relies on electronic pulses to intercept the pain messages your spinal column transmits to your brain. Although the concept is not new – the FDA approved many neurostimulation devices in the 1980s — the technology has progressed rapidly, making spinal cord stimulation therapy a relatively easy and often effective alternative to surgery. Also, if you have already been through back surgery, but the pain remains, you should ask your doctor about this treatment.
How Does It Work?
Because it isn’t a cure-all, your doctor will first see how you do with a five-day trial. The physician inserts thin wire transmitters into the epidural space in your spine. These wires connect to a battery-powered unit that you carry with you during the trial. Multiple areas of pain can be controlled via various programs on a hand held remote control that talks to the battery. After the trial period, you and your doctor will put your heads together to determine whether the therapy works for you, and if so, you will receive a small, battery-powered pulse generator implant, similar to the external trial device but much smaller. You continue to control your pain and make adjustments with a pocket-sized remote.
What Are the Benefits?
You get some pretty significant benefits from spinal cord stimulation, including:
- Quick recovery from a minimally invasive implant procedure
- The ability to actually take control of your pain
- Pain relief that works on its own or in partnership with medication
- A cost effective therapy that is typically covered by insurance
- Little down time and recovery, especially in comparison to major surgery
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like any surgery, the implant procedure puts you at a small risk for infection, and the minimal incision you get during implantation may be painful until it heals.
Will Spinal Cord Stimulation Work for You?
If you have chronic pain in your back, neck, legs, arms, and/or hands and feet, you are not pregnant and you do not have a pacemaker, you are a candidate for spinal cord stimulation therapy. At Advanced Pain Care, we have multiple locations where we can address your chronic pain with a full spectrum of effective treatments. Get in touch with us today and find out whether spinal cord stimulation will work for you.