Spinal cord stimulation is a minimally invasive treatment for chronic pain relief. It is typically offered as a next step to more conservative pain management therapies and requires an outpatient procedure to insert a small device on to the spine. The effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation treatment is inversely related to the timing of implantation, meaning that the earlier this type of treatment is started, the better pain relief a patient will receive. Read on to learn more about what spinal cord stimulation is and how it works.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation treatment (SCS) can also be referred to as neuromodulation treatment. This chronic pain treatment consists of sending small electrical pulses to the spinal cord. These electrical pulses interrupt the transmission of pain signals as they travel to the brain. The goal of this treatment is to prevent the brain from receiving pain signals by instead creating a painless tingling sensation called paresthesia.
Spinal cord stimulation treatment does require a small implant. The system implanted may be self-regulating or patient-controlled, depending on the type of device and patient’s condition. Patients using neuromodulation treatment can control the level of stimulation or start and stop the spinal cord stimulation treatment using the external controller.
Possible Side Effects of Spinal Cord Stimulation
SCS treatment and implantation has very few and minor side effects that can be easily addressed if experienced. Generally, side effects are related to the implanted device itself – for example, the device breaking or shifting out of position – and can be fixed by your pain management specialist. Another side effect is minor infection, swelling and/or pain at the site of the implant following the procedure. Read more about the implantation procedure here.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation Used For
Neuromodulation treatment, or SCS, is most commonly used for chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, ischemic disease and coronary artery disease. New and improved spinal cord stimulation devices are able to help patients who suffer from chronic pain in their lower extremities. Spinal cord stimulation is not a cure for chronic pain, but it is proven to significantly reduce the sensation of pain and enable most patients to return to their normal activities and quality of life.
New devices for neuromodulation treatment also bring other improvements in the effectiveness of SCS. Some new models offer the same pain relief as current devices, but without the tingling feeling of paresthesia. Others allow patients even more control over the electrical pulses used during treatment. For more information about the spinal cord stimulation treatment options at Pain Relief Centers, find a pain relief specialist near you today.