Spinal Cord Stimulation
One of the most successful nonsurgical methods for controlling chronic back pain is known as spinal cord stimulation. Using electrical impulses to block pain, the stimulator can replace the feelings of pain with a mild tingling sensation.
Spinal cord stimulation can lessen pain in cases of sciatica, arm pain, failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, arachnoiditis, and other maladies, such as stump pain, multiple sclerosis, and some types of spinal cord injuries.
What does the spinal cord stimulation procedure entail?
Before performing the procedure, doctors at the Spine Center will do a trial stimulation through the skin to gauge the effectiveness of the therapy for you. If it’s successful, a permanent stimulator is implanted under the skin of the belly. Small wires are inserted under the skin and into the spinal canal. Most stimulators will work for 2-5 years before the batteries must be replaced.
Low-level electrical signals are transmitted through the wire lead to the spinal cord, blocking the pain signals that are being sent to the brain. The signal can be turned on and off and adjusted for intensity. There is a period of adjustment as you determine which levels are most effective for you.
What can I expect following the procedure?
Following your procedure, you will be able to control your own pain relief, determining when you are in need. The system is entirely portable, so you can enjoy an active life at home and at work, participate in most recreational activities, and greatly improve your quality of life.
With that said, there are a few precautions you will need to take; your doctor at the Spine Center will be able to review these with you. For example, you do not want to use heavy equipment while the stimulator is activated as it may set off metal detectors, especially at airports. The anti-theft monitors at retail outlets may also temporarily increase stimulation, so you may want to temporarily turn off your device before walking through them.
How will I know if I am a candidate for spinal cord stimulation?
The neck and pain specialists at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Spine Center will want to evaluate and assess your individual situation before scheduling a spinal cord stimulation procedure. This will include a complete history of your pain and pain management efforts to determine if stimulation will be an effective treatment method for you.
In most cases, candidates for spinal cord stimulation have suffered from a disability for more than a year and have debilitating pain in their lower back and legs. They may have also undergone one or more spinal surgeries that have failed to ultimately solve the problem and mitigate pain.
If you are interested in spinal cord stimulation, the pain management specialists at the Florida Hospital Celebration Health Spine Center will be more than happy to answer your questions.