Modern technology is bringing pain relief to many back pain sufferers. Today, doctors can eliminate back pain with a Spinal Cord Stimulator, or SCS, therapy. It is recommended for people who suffer from chronic pain as it blocks the pain signals that travel to the brain. Patients who have sciatica, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease may consider the treatment as well as those who have pain from back surgery and nerve root compression.
Understanding Spinal Cord Stimulation
Once a patient decides to have SCS therapy, their doctor will begin with a trial stimulator. The patient will receive a local anesthetic, and once it is under affect, the doctor will insert a device that emits an electrical current into the patient’s epidural space. The spinal stimulator is built from a thin wire that features an electrical device on the end. Furthermore, the procedure includes the insertion of a needle into the epidural area. With the needle in position, the doctor will feed the wire into the body. Once the SCS is in place, it will send out small electrical pulses, which disrupts the pain signals that the body sends to the brain. Most patients try the therapy for five to seven days with the lead taped to their back and attached to the stimulating unit. Once the trial period has ended, patients may choose to have a permanent device.
How Does the Spinal Stimulator Work?
Since the SCS unit generates a low voltage current, the pain receptors cannot report to the brain as they normally would. In fact, patients may instead experience a pleasant sensation. Doctors can manipulate the stimulator’s intensity levels. Therefore, they can customize it to manage their patient’s pain. In addition, the device can be turned off and on as needed. With the SCS mechanism in place, patients typically reduce their reliance on pain medication. Doctors frequently recommend the procedure because it treats the pain caused by a variety of conditions.
Report of Findings
Several medical studies have reviewed the outcomes for people who have had an SCS procedure. The studies found that patients who suffered from pain caused by a failed back surgery along with those who had complex regional pain syndrome received positive results for short-term pain relief and moderate results over time. When researchers investigated spinal stenosis patients who were treated with a spinal cord stimulator, they found that 67 percent of them felt better.
Back pain can be a debilitating condition as it often disrupts a person’s everyday life and keeps them housebound or even bed-bound. Fortunately, medical research professionals have invented new methods, such as SCS therapy, to improve a back pain sufferer’s quality of life.
We Can Help
The physicians at Care Medical Center specialize in advanced state-of-the-art interventional pain management procedures to relieve spinal, nerve and joint disorders. Call today to find out more about spinal cord stimulation or the many other pain relieving options we offer.
We are here – ready to help.
For Your Health,
Dr. Ryan Moorman