Pain can severely interrupt your quality of life, no matter where on your body it occurs. Chronic pain, especially lower back pain, is one of the most common reasons people seek pain relief. Spinal cord stimulation may be your best treatment option.
What is spinal cord stimulation?
A relatively new and innovative procedure, spinal cord stimulation isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Soft, thin wires are implanted under local anesthesia using a small needle.
The wires are placed and advanced in your epidural space at specific levels depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing. The actual implantation takes 30-45 minutes and the entire outpatient procedure lasts about 2 hours.
How does spinal cord stimulation work?
The wires receive mild electrical impulses from a small device to interrupt pain messages from your spinal cord. A temporary stimulator is used first to make sure that it’s the right treatment for your pain.
Your response to the treatment is tracked for a few days, during which you should also take detailed notes to share with your doctor. If you both decide the treatment is alleviating your pain, a permanent device will be implanted, but it can always still be removed if you feel it’s no longer working for you.
You’re able to determine the frequency and intensity of the impulses with a remote so you’re always in control of your pain management. Typically, you use it 3-4 times a day, for an hour or two each time.
With the portable, unobtrusive device, you can still go through your normal daily routine and enjoy most of the activities that you usually do, including swimming.
What pain does spinal cord stimulation treat?
Spinal cord stimulation is best for the lumbar regions (lower back and spine) but can also be used in the cervical area (neck). Uses include the treatment of neuropathic pain, residual back pain after surgery, and complex regional pain syndrome. The procedure can also help lessen your dependency on medication for pain relief.
If you think spinal cord stimulation is an option to manage your pain, talk to you doctor about your options. Only a specialist can best evaluate and treat your pain, especially chronic pain.
If you’re in Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Uniontown, Monongahela, or Gibsonia area, contact us today to help start treating your pain.
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