Spinal cord stimulation therapy masks pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device, similar to a pacemaker, delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord. It helps people better manage their chronic pain and reduce their use of opioid medications. It may be an option if you suffer chronic back, leg or arm pain and have not found relief with other therapies.
A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) device is surgically placed under your skin and sends a mild electric current to your spinal cord. Thin wires carry current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. When turned on, the SCS stimulates the nerves in the area where your pain is felt. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signal from reaching your brain.
What is the Spinal Cord Stimulation Treatment Like?
The treatment for spinal cord stimulation involves a minor surgery to implant the nerve stimulation device. For the surgery, we will use anesthesia to ensure you remain safe and comfortable throughout the procedure. Depending on where the device is placed, you may have to refrain from participating in certain activities for about two weeks, especially those that involve heavy lifting.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect from Spinal Cord Stimulation?
After the implantation of the spinal cord stimulation device, you will be able to begin using it immediately. You will be able to adjust the intensity of the electrical signals it emits in order to achieve maximum pain relief. Your spinal cord stimulation device can be turned off or removed at any point, but many patients continue using it to maintain lasting relief.