Spinal Cord Stimulation: What You Need to Know

Spinal cord stimulation masks pain signals before reaching the brain. It involves implanting a small device, the size of a pacemaker, into your body to deliver the electrical impulses to your spinal cord. Choose reliable spinal cord stimulation in The Woodlands. With the implant, you can manage your chronic pain symptoms as well as reduce your usage of opioid medications. This is a viable option for those suffering from chronic neck, back, arm or leg pain and other therapies haven’t worked. 

What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

This is a procedure that uses a surgically implanted spinal cord stimulator to send an electric current to the spinal cord. The device has a pulse generator and a wire that carries the electrical current to the nerve fibers of your spinal cord. The spinal cord stimulator stimulates your nerves in that painful area. The pain is relieved when the electrical pulses mask and modify the pain signal before it reaches your brain. 

Who Can Benefit from Spinal Cord Stimulation?

  • Patients with chronic pain in their lower back, arm, neck and leg, lasting for several months.
  • Patients who haven’t benefited from other therapies because they are ineffective in relieving their pain.
  • Patients who have undergone one or several spinal surgeries.

The spine specialist will first evaluate your physical condition to see if you are an ideal candidate. The specialist also evaluates your pain history and medication regimen. A neurosurgeon, pain specialist, or physiatrist reviews your previous surgeries and treatments before making their recommendations.

This procedure lessens your chronic pain due to arthritis, sciatica, nerve damage, failed back surgery syndrome, arachnoiditis, peripheral vascular disease, spinal cord injury, sclerosis and stump pain. 

The stimulation not only eliminates the pain source but interferes with pain signals reaching your brain, however, the pain relief amount varies from person to person. This stimulation can produce tingling sensation over the painful part of your body. 

The tingling feeling over the painful areas is called paresthesia. The stimulator replaces your pain sensation with that mild tingling feeling. However, other SCS mask your pain without the tingling sensation. Paresthesia free setting works for most patients. 

The stimulation isn’t for everyone, as some patients may find it unpleasant. Besides, it may not cover the whole pain area. The specialists first do a trial stimulation before permanently implanting the device. This procedure is performed by the spine specialist or neurosurgeon. Consult the specialists to know your suitability for the procedure. 

How Quickly Do the Results Come About?

Results of spinal cord stimulation depend on the patient selection and success of the trial stimulation. Also, it depends on patient education and proper surgical technique. However, it’s important to know that this stimulation doesn’t cure your condition but helps you manage your pain. The procedure is a huge success and has been effective in relieving pain in at least half of the patients. Studies show that it offers you long-term pain relief and has a success rate of 50 – 80% for patients with chronic pain. This process is reversible, and the generator and electrode wires can be removed at any time. 

SCS is highly effective in the management of chronic pain. However, the spine specialist will evaluate your suitability before implanting the stimulator. Consult the doctor to learn more about this procedure and to schedule an appointment.

 

News Reporter