Everything You Need to Know About Spinal Cord Stimulation for Pain Management
What is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
First, it’s important to note that Spinal Cord Stimulation should only be considered if the pain is chronic (lasting 6 months or more) and other non-invasive procedures have been exhausted.
Spinal Cord Stimulation sends low electrical waves to block or significantly mask pain signals to the brain. Individuals describe the feeling as warm and tingling, a pleasant reversal of the severe pain that was once there.
How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?
A simple, minimally invasive medical procedure is performed and a small box is implanted underneath the individual’s skin. This small metal box is under the skin and used to emit the electrical pulses used to block the pain signals. New technological advances have introduced a rechargeable battery. A rechargeable battery allows the individual to forgo the necessary surgical replacement keeping them out of the operating room.
What Conditions Can Be Treated by Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Many disorders can safely be treated with Spinal Cord Stimulation. Here are some of the most common conditions that are an ideal fit to be treated with SCS: Chronic Back Pain, Chronic Lower Back Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS), Peripheral Neuropathy, and severe Radicular Pain.
When You Should Not Use Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulation is not typically offered until other more conservative and non-invasive methods have been attempted without achieving sufficient relief. If an individual is experiencing chronic pain, they should see their doctor to discuss options such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. If the pain persists, then spinal cord stimulation may be as a possible longer-term treatment option.
Individuals should meet with their doctor to discuss the pros, cons, and potential side effects of Spinal Cord Stimulation to determine if it may be appropriate for their condition.