How Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain Works
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a neuromodulation technique which has become a standard of care for people with chronic back and neck pain. Neuromodulation is used for pain management therapy, it uses electrical signals delivered by an implanted device to alter nerve activity in specific parts of the body in order to reduce pain. Similar to the way a pacemaker corrects an irregular heartbeat, a neuromodulation device can set up neurological balance that may help reduce symptoms associated with pain.
This method delivers low level electrical signals to the spinal cord or identifies nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Nerve signals are being transmitted from the body to the brain constantly. It helps prevent injury by making a person aware that something is wrong. Unfortunately, when nerves are damaged or not properly working, they can send pain signals to the brain even if an injury is not occurring. Spinal cord stimulation can be used to disrupt these signals to the brain.
Spinal cord stimulation is an acute treatment alternative for patients with chronic pain who have not found relief from conservative treatment approaches. Spinal cord stimulation is a safe, drug-free and cost-effective treatment for a lot of chronic pain conditions.
Improve ability to participate in daily activities
Effective for extremities, back & leg pain relief
The power to manage your own treatment
Increased activity and mobility
Reduced opioid [narcotic] use
Less need for other pain medications
Less dependence on bracing
When should spinal cord stimulation be used?
At the point when surgery will not benefit the patient or has failed or when other treatments have not been successful, then spinal cord stimulation is suggested. However, the device is not for everybody. Be sure to check with your doctor to see if this method is right for you.
What spine-related problems are treatable with spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation can be used to treat a variety of pain including post-surgical pain, arachnoiditis (painful inflammation of the arachnoid, a thin membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord), back pain, especially back pain that continues even after surgery, complex regional pain syndrome, pain in lower back, leg (sciatica), or arm.
What are the symptoms of living with long-term pain?
The symptoms of pain depend enormously on the cause. Chronic nerve pain can manifest in several ways such as sharp, throbbing, shooting or burning sensations. This pain lasts longer than usual and is usually out of proportion, meaning a light touch or rub hurts when it shouldn’t. This can lead to feeling tired, difficulty sleeping, decreased energy, difficulty focusing on daily tasks or may cause depression. It can make it difficult to work, play, or simply manage physical activities of everyday life.
Is spinal cord stimulation right for me?
The effects of spinal cord stimulation vary from person to person and it is important to understand that spinal cord stimulation may help reduce your pain but not eliminate it. The best treatment is found by understanding the cause of the nerve injury and using therapy that will fully remove or reduce pain. At Comprehensive Spine and Sports Center we customize a special plan catered to each individual patient. We have developed a one-stop-shop to address all aspects of pain.
What types of physicians perform the procedure?
Neurosurgeons and doctors who specialize in pain management such as anesthesiologists, orthopaedic spine surgeons’ and physiatrist implant spinal cord stimulators.
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“Living with chronic pain is quite a challenge. Some days my lower back feels like a knife is jabbing into me. Other days my legs and feet will spasm, ache, and burn. There are times when medication and exercise do not completely help. These are the...
Dr. Diana Abovsky is very professional and knowledgeable. Her expertise and perseverance guide her in the genuine care and treatment of her patients. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is living with chronic conditions and/or pain....
I sure hope that you could come see the “Nutcracker” production because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to do this at all! Not too long ago I couldn’t even walk and I was on mass amounts of narcotic pain meds and today I have been clean for...
I moved away from California and the care of Dr. Navani about sixteen months ago, it took me a few months to write this and to reflect back and I am hoping that patients who read this and come under her care will be inspired by my story. My story goe...