What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation treats severe, chronic (long-term) back and neck pain when other treatments are ineffective.
Your nervous system uses electrical impulses to relay sensations like pain, pleasure, heat, and cold, ensure organs function, and activate muscles. Spinal cord stimulation uses similar electrical pulses to disrupt nerve communication, limiting the nerve signals causing pain and other unpleasant problems.
The Metro Spine PC team implants the spinal cord stimulator unit delivering the electrical pulses under your skin. You control it using a hand-held device, matching the electrical signal strength and frequency to your pain levels.
Some spinal cord stimulator signals change pain sensations to a soothing, tingling feeling (paresthesia). Others block all sensations.
Is spinal cord stimulation suitable for my condition?
Spinal cord stimulation isn’t limited to specific conditions. But because it requires a procedure involving the spinal nerves, it’s reserved for patients with severe pain when no other treatments are effective.
Many people with chronic pain find conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication helpful. Those who don’t often benefit from steroid injections, restorative medicine treatments like radiofrequency ablation.
If nothing works and the pain significantly affects your quality of life, spinal cord stimulation could be the answer. It’s especially effective for people with challenging conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
What does spinal cord stimulator implantation involve?
After determining that spinal cord stimulation suits you, the Metro Spine PC team arranges a trial. This ensures that the treatment is effective before you undergo full implantation.
For the trial, which lasts about a week, your doctor inserts small electrical wires (electrodes) into your spine. They position them by asking for feedback on where you feel the most relief. The electrodes link to an external unit for the trial.
You report your experience to Metro Spine PC when the trial period ends. You and your doctor then decide if full implantation is the right choice. If it is, your doctor performs a second procedure, inserting permanent electrodes and the implantable pulse generator (IPG) under the skin on your back or buttock.
Call Metro Spine PC today or book an appointment online to learn how you can benefit from spinal cord stimulation.