Spinal cord stimulation is an excellent treatment option to reduce back pain without back surgery or drug therapy. For patients living in and around Campbell, California, the team of highly-skilled physiatrists at Spine & Sports Medical Group is an invaluable resource for spinal treatments, including spinal cord stimulators. Schedule your personalized consultation today to learn more about your options. Online scheduling is available, or you are always welcome to call or stop by the office to book your visit.
Spinal cord stimulation is a pain relief treatment that works by interrupting the transmission of pain signals to your brain. It’s a great treatment alternative for men and women who want to avoid surgery and prefer a nonpharmaceutical source of pain relief.
To understand spinal cord stimulation it helps to think about how your body perceives pain. When painful stimuli are encountered, your nerves work to carry those pain signals to your brain. Your brain interprets those signals and responds by sending a new set of signals back along your neural pathways.
For example, if you step on a sharp object, your nerves instantaneously transmit pain signals to your brain. Your brain responds immediately, instructing your muscles to lift your foot and take the pressure off the source of pain. All of this happens within an instant, and that quick communication is part of what allows human beings to survive.
Spinal cord stimulation alters the transmission of pain signals, which reduces your ability to “feel” pain in the targeted area.
Spinal cord stimulation requires several steps. The first part of the process involves inserting a hollow needle into the portion of your spine where the pain signals originate. A series of wires called leads are inserted through the needle into the epidural space between your spinal cord and bone tissue.
The needle is withdrawn and the end of the wires extend through your skin and into an external generator. The area where the wires emerge is covered with a bandage, and the generator is held in place by a belt. The generator emits a low-frequency electrical current, which alters the pain signals so your brain cannot interpret them properly.
If the system relieves your pain for a few days, you’ll return to have a permanent version implanted under your skin. Both the trial and permanent versions are controlled by a hand-held remote.
Spinal cord stimulation does nothing to alter the source of your pain; it only serves to change the way your body communicates pain signals to your brain. The goal of spinal cord stimulation is to achieve a 50-70% reduction in pain.
For most men and women, less pain enables them to enjoy their lives more fully. It can also reduce dependence on drug therapy, which is a top priority for many.
To explore spinal cord stimulation in greater detail, call or schedule an appointment online today. You’ll meet with a specialist who can explain the pros and cons of this and various other treatment options.