Chronic pain can be a debilitating and life altering issue. It can be even more disheartening when you have tried every possible treatment and nothing works to relieve your pain.
Sometimes you have patients that experience this set-back and we have to go back to the drawing board to find a solution to help the severity of their pain and to hopefully get them back to living an active and enjoyable life. One solution that I have found to possibly give patients relief is a neuro-stimulator.
Known by many as spinal cord stimulators, neuro-stimulators is a more modern name for this treatment that has given some of my patients the relief that they are looking for. In this article I go over what exactly neuro-stimulators are and how they may be able to help you.
Neuro-stimulation is a cutting-edge treatment that blocks pain signals from the nerves in the spine to the brain. Patients undergo a temporary evaluation/trial period first to determine if the minimally invasive treatment is an effective option to improve the patient’s functionality and decrease the need for pain medication.
Who is a candidate for this treatment?
The treatment is used for a range of conditions, including:
- chronic neck or back pain
- chronic regional pain syndrome
- failed back surgery syndrome
- peripheral neuropathy
- radicular pain syndrome
- reflex sympathetic dystrophy
What is the process of this treatment?
The spinal cord stimulator trial, which lasts about a week, involves stimulation through thin wires inserted into the body and controlled by an external transmitter.
The trial procedure usually takes about 30 to 90 minutes and is done in the office, surgery center, or hospital. Leads, which are thin, flexible wires, are placed in near the spine using a special needle. The leads are connected to an external wireless neurostimulator that is secured to the patient’s back during the trial.
The actual implant procedure is a surgical procedure and is typically done only in an operating room setting on an outpatient basis. After electrodes are placed within the area from which pain originates, the patient is sedated and a small incision is made to implant the stimulator, an electric pulse generator. The generator may be implanted near the upper buttocks or lower back.
Benefits of Neuro-Stimulators
- There is trial period that allows a patient to determine if this treatment will work for them before fully committing to the procedure.
- This does not have to be a permanent device and can be removed if the patient chooses.
- Neuro-stimulators can be adjusted based on the changes in your pain level.
- This device may provide relief when other treatments haven’t been able to.
How do I know if I am a candidate?
Your doctor will do an evaluation and also have you do a screening test to determine if this treatment could be right for you. Together the two of you will go over all of the details and decide if this treatment could be beneficial.
Watch our video about Neuro-Stimulators. I go over the frequently asked questions regarding regarding this treatment and how it may be able to help you if you’re experiencing hard to treat chronic pain.
If you have questions or want to speak more about this treatment, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Together we can decide what treatment will work best to help relieve your pain and get you back to living your ideal life.
Here’s to good health and less pain,
Dr. Ashu Goyle