Waking up each day to debilitating back or neck pain can wreak havoc on your life. And the road to relief through surgery or medications may not appeal to you because both choices carry considerable risks. Or perhaps you’ve already had surgery and the pain persists.
Whatever the case, there’s one treatment method that has garnered a good deal of success among patients with hard-to-treat spine pain a spinal cord stimulator.
Our highly trained pain management team has one mission to bring relief to patients using the widest range of tools available. If you’ve tried several different approaches to your back and neck pain, but you’re still struggling, it may be time to explore new options, such as the spinal cord stimulator.
Here’s what you need to know about spinal cord stimulation.
Blocking the Messages
A spinal cord stimulator is a device that emits low-voltage electrical currents to disrupt the pain messaging between the nerves around your spine and your brain. To deliver the currents, we place electrodes inside the epidural space where your problem nerves are located. Once in place, these electrodes release the currents, which create a mild tingling sensation in the area, rather than the pain.
This type of neurostimulation is effective for several conditions that cause pain along your spine, including:
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Cervical and lumbar radiculitis
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Spinal cord injury
In most cases, patients have tried various methods to control the pain and discomfort without success, at which point spinal cord stimulation may be the best course of action.
A Trial Run
To ensure that a spinal cord stimulator will work for your back or neck pain, we perform a trial run in which we direct temporary leads into your spine. If this temporary measure proves successful, we then make plans to implant a more permanent spinal cord stimulator.
If the trial run isn’t successful, we try moving the leads to see whether the placement was an issue.
A More Permanent Setup
If you find much-needed relief during your trial run, we arrange to implant your spinal cord stimulator. For this procedure, we place you under general anesthesia and make only small incisions through which we direct the electrodes into place.
We also place a small generator beneath the surface of your skin in your abdomen or buttocks. Once everything is in place, we close the small incisions.
While the spinal cord stimulator is located inside your body, you control the electrical current level via a handheld remote.
Precision Pain Care and Rehabilitation has two convenient locations in Richmond Hill – Queens and New Hyde Park – Long Island. Call the Richmond Hill office at (718) 215-1888, or (516) 419-4480 for the Long Island office, to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.