Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Right for Me?

Nothing can make your quality of life plummet like chronic pain that emanates from back conditions. When your mobility is limited due to long-term pain, even simple tasks like cooking and showering become challenging, ascending and descending stairs may trigger severe discomfort, and partaking in any fun activities is out of the question, too.

Extended periods of pain dim your mood as well, and it’s a vicious cycle. The pain makes you depressed, and the depression actually causes more pain.  

The team at Advanced Spine and Pain works to find solutions for a multitude of painful conditions. Dr. Alfred Correa, Dr. Thomas Raley, Dr. Randy Smith, and Dr. Brian Lee are dedicated to finding the root cause of your chronic pain and creating a customized treatment plan that employs both conservative and advanced treatments. 

Searching for the ideal chronic pain treatment 

Unfortunately there are many conditions that cause chronic back pain, or pain that lasts for three months or longer:

Radiculopathy, depending on its location on your spine, can lead to back, neck, shoulder, arm, or leg pain. Throw in numbness, tingling, and weakness, and your day-to-day activities are sure to be curtailed, if not halted.  

The pain from unsuccessful back surgery can be especially crushing, since patients have such high hopes for relief after going through a major procedure. 

Each patient who comes to Advanced Spine and Pain with chronic pain has a history with the problem that’s all their own. They may have suffered for months or years, and treatments may work for a while and then stop working. Finding lasting relief for this problem is, as they say, complicated.

Our team typically recommends conventional treatments to patients initially, like epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, and pain medication, but unfortunately these won’t keep the pain at bay for many. Whatever the treatment plan is that we design for you, our aim is to offer you the most sophisticated and diverse treatment menu possible.  

A game-changing treatment: the spinal cord stimulator

A spinal cord stimulator is a pain management system that can actually block your spinal cord’s pain signals as they’re sent to your brain. Conductors called electrodes that are programmable and contained within the stimulator also connect to your spine with electrical leads. Ultimately, you use your handheld controlling device to activate the electrodes when you feel pain. 

The spinal cord stimulator implantation process

There are a couple steps to successful spinal cord implantation. The first one is testing its placement so that you and your doctor know it’s where it should be to give you maximum relief, since the body’s pain communication system is an exquisitely designed, precise network. 

In this initial trial phase, which lasts for several days, you receive a local anesthetic or sedation and your surgeon positions the electrodes on the points of your spine he believes are correct, based on data from X-rays. He pre-programs the device you control to deliver relief that’s targeted specifically to your pain. This part of the process lasts about an hour. 

Over the next few days, you get a feel for using the system and assess whether you’re getting sufficient pain relief. If you deem the placement successful, your doctor removes the wires. 

The final step is a brief hospital outpatient procedure where your surgeon implants the spinal cord stimulator more permanently. Imagine having, for lack of a better term, a kind of “remote control” pain management system available to you all the time? Well that’s a spinal cord stimulator!

Learn more about the implantation process by viewing this brief video

After your spinal cord stimulator implantation procedure, your doctor follows you closely to ensure that you continue to get the relief you need. 

Benefits of spinal cord stimulation

Aside from highly effective pain relief and the ability of the patient to customize it however and whenever they please, this pain management system may make you less reliant on medication, or even remove your need for it entirely. It’s also reversible, should you want it removed at any time. 

Don’t live with chronic back pain a minute more. Call our office to schedule a consultation or book one online

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