Spinal cord stimulation is an interventional pain management method that utilizes electrical signals to interrupt the pain messages sent by nerves before they travel up the spine to the brain. It has been used by pain management physicians since the 1960s, but it is now becoming more mainstream.
Many people have found spinal cord stimulation to be an effective way to decrease, minimize, or even eliminate chronic back pain. If your orthopedist specializes in treating spinal pain, spinal cord stimulation may be one of the options recommended for you.
How Common Is Back Pain?
Many people suffer from back pain. In fact, most adults will have back pain at some time in their lives.
Unfortunately, due to stress on the spine from poor posture or bending over a computer screen all day, chronic back pain is becoming more and more common. Accidents and injuries from sports can result in severe back pain, and the various types of arthritis may also affect any number of joints in the spine.
Treatments for Spinal Pain
There are many ways to treat back pain. Doctors recommend using the most conservative (noninvasive or minimally invasive) treatment possible, such as stretching, physical therapy, or other exercises.
There are a range of medications that help to alleviate back pain. Some people only need over-the-counter pain relievers, while others rely on prescription painkillers that may be habit-forming.
Because prescription medications can become addictive, alternate treatment methods are ideal. Interventional pain management techniques are available for those who suffer from chronic back pain that is not relieved by more conservative treatments.
Spinal cord stimulation, radiofrequency ablation, nerve blocks, and steroid injections are among the treatments that alleviate pain for many patients.
Conventional spinal surgery is sometimes recommended for severe spinal conditions. Unfortunately, surgery does not always help. Failed back surgery syndrome is persistent or increased back pain following surgery. When this occurs, spinal cord stimulation may help.
What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a small electrical device, similar to a pacemaker, into the body. Wires travel from the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) to the site where pain originates in the spine. Electrical impulses from the SCS are sent to the spine to interfere with pain signals from the affected nerves. Because implanting the SCS is a minimally invasive procedure, there is a trial period where the SCS is worn on the outside of your body – with the small wires (called leads) inserted with a hollow needle.
The wires can be easily removed in your doctor’s office if the treatment is ineffective, or if you decide it’s not for you. The amount of electricity that works best for you is determined during the trial period and can be easily adjusted by your doctor before the SCS is implanted.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Palm Beach County
The spine specialists at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches are experienced in helping people with all different levels of back pain. As pain management experts, we understand that pain can impact every aspect of your life – even when you appear to be fine on the outside.
If you have chronic or severe back pain that has not responded to conservative treatments, interventional treatment options may help. Patients with back and neck pain and every other kind of orthopedic condition have trusted Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches since 2007.
If you live in Palm Beach County or the surrounding area, call us at (561) 733-5888, Ext. 1 to request an appointment today, or fill out our simple online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle once again.