Chronic pain drastically decreases the quality of your life by causing discomfort, anxiety, lack of concentration, and sleep. Long-term chronic pain is one of the common causes of disability in people below 45 years.
Massages, physical exercises, and medication can reduce long term pain, but sometimes the pain persists even after these treatments. A spinal cord stimulator could be the best option to manage your chronic pain when such treatments fail. When successfully implanted, you could get up to 75 percent relief from pain.
How Does a Spinal Cord Stimulator Relieve Chronic Pain?
A spinal cord stimulator, or a neuromodulator, is a small device that manages chronic pain in your neck, back, or leg and lets you live everyday life like others.
This device has electrodes and a generator to reduce chronic pain. The electrodes, also called leads, are inserted along the spinal cord or vertebrae, where the pain signals travel to the brain.
Electric impulses pass along the leads and mask pain signals, preventing them from reaching your brain. Thus, you would only feel slight pain or sometimes feel nothing.
Meanwhile, the generator is inserted under the skin, near your bottoms, or along the abdomen. The generator produces impulses to disrupt pain signals.
Spinal cord stimulators have an external remote control where you can switch on or off to control the stimulation. Managing the impulses is necessary since pain signals are inconsistent.
Should I get a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator could be the best choice to manage your chronic pains, and only a certified physician should recommend it.
A spinal cord stimulator is ideal if you have undergone surgical or physical treatment such as exercises, massage, medication, and physical therapy but still not getting enough relief.
To get permanent neurostimulation, you would undergo a trial phase before your neurosurgeon performs a permanent incision to relieve your chronic pain.
If you get more than 50 percent pain relief during the trial, your physician will implant a permanent stimulator in your spinal cord, vertebrae, or along the muscles from which you feel pain.
During the trial phase, the physician induces a temporary electrode along your spine. You would have an external generator or battery attached to the electrodes.
The trial phase takes a few days to monitor how much pain relief you get from the temporary stimulator. If you get more than 50 percent relief, your neurosurgeon will implant a permanent SCS on your body after some days.
For permanent implantation, you would undergo two local anesthesia sessions to put the electrodes along your spines and to install the generator under your skin. You must wake up between the sessions to ensure everything is alright.
Your physician would make you go to sleep (local anesthesia) and insert the electrodes along your spines, guided by an X-ray machine. The electrodes are small and thin, and your muscles would operate with them inside your body.
If the electrodes are well inserted, you will sleep for a second time for the generator installation. Your doctor would insert the generator under the skin along your abdomen or near your buttocks and wake you up when done.
Installing a spinal cord stimulator is simple and takes approximately two hours to complete. After a successful installation, you take about one to four weeks to recover.
What Types of Chronic Pain Does it Help Manage?
Here are the kinds of chronic pain you can reduce if you get a spinal cord stimulator implantation:
- Pain from amputation
- Back pain
- Spinal cavity injury
- Pain after surgery
- Chest pain, heart pain, or angina
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
Let Our Team Help!
A spinal cord stimulator is the best solution if medical and physical surgery options haven’t worked for you.
Ready to get yourself free from chronic pain and resume your everyday life? Our team of certified experts is ready to serve you. Fill out the form below to contact our team!