When conservative treatments have failed, and you continue to suffer from chronic back or neck pain, you could finally get the relief you require using spinal cord stimulation (SCS). SCS uses a small device to block the pain signals from reaching your brain. At Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine in Westfield and West Orange, New Jersey, their team of experts can evaluate the cause of your pain to determine if you’re a good candidate for SCS. To learn more, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
How does spinal cord stimulation help to relieve pain?
Spinal cord stimulation uses a small device that alleviates your pain by masking pain signals that are typically sent by your spinal nerves.
When the stimulator is activated, it delivers a mild electric current to the nerves in your spine that are responsible for causing your pain. The electrical current blocks the nerve signals, so they don’t reach your brain.
When the nerve signals relaying pain don’t reach your brain, you stop feeling the pain even though its source still exists.
What conditions are treatable with spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation can help treat chronic spinal pain. You may experience spinal pain due to an acute injury or illness that becomes chronic over time, or your problem may develop over many years from normal wear-and-tear, overuse, or degenerative changes.
Some of the most common causes are spinal pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerve
- Slipped disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Sprains and strains
You may also benefit from spinal cord stimulation if you continue to experience pain after spine surgery.
How is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) includes several components: a tiny pulse generator, a lead wire equipped with eight to 32 electrodes that deliver the electrical pulses, and a hand-held remote control that’s used to adjust settings and turn the SCS on and off.
If you’re a good candidate for SCS, first, you’ll have a trial period in which the lead wires are inserted, and the electrodes are placed over the nerves that are causing your pain. However, during this period, the generator is worn on your waist. The trial period allows you to discover whether SCS works for you before having the generator implanted under your skin surgically.
If SCS works for you, the pulse generator is surgically placed under your skin.
Are you a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?
First, your provider reviews your health and pain history to determine whether spinal cord stimulation is a good fit for you. You may be a good candidate for SCS if you’ve experienced debilitating back pain for at least three months and meet the following criteria:
- Conservative treatments have failed to relieve your pain
- Major surgery isn’t recommended or desired
- You don’t take any medications that may prevent implantation surgery
- You’ve had a successful SCS trial
If you suffer from chronic pain and would like to find lasting relief, call Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine, or book an appointment online today.