Managing Neuropathy with Spinal Cord Stimulation

Mar 22, 2024
Managing Neuropathy with Spinal Cord Stimulation
You’re struggling with nerve damage that’s making your life uncomfortable, if not downright painful. One potential road to relief is through spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which we dive into here.

Some days are worse than others, but everyday neuropathy, or nerve damage, has some negative impact on your life. Living with neuropathy can be challenging and uncomfortable, to say the least, making pain relief your top priority. 

If you’ve tried other avenues for managing your neuropathy and you’re not satisfied with the results, it might be time to take a closer look at spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which we offer here at Apex Pain Specialists.

Our lead pain management specialists, Dr. Maziar Massrour and Dr. Naveen Reddy, understand all too well how frustrating it can be to find a satisfactory and effective solution for neuropathy, but we’ve had a good amount of success with spinal cord stimulation. Here’s a look at how this approach to managing neuropathy works and some of its many benefits.

How spinal cord stimulation approaches pain

Spinal cord stimulation is a neuromodulation technique in which we disrupt the pain signaling between your damaged nerves and your brain. To do this, we implant a spinal cord stimulator, which includes a battery generator and leads, during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.

We strategically place the leads along your spinal canal where they emit mild electrical impulses that interfere with the pain messaging between your damaged peripheral nerves and your brain. These leads are repowered by a battery pack that we implant just beneath your skin, usually in your flank or gluteal area.

We perform a trial first with percutaneous leads. If the trial is not effective, then we just pull the leads. If it is successful, we pull the leads and refer the patient to a spine surgeon for implantation.

Spinal cord stimulation and neuropathy

There are many different ways in which you can develop neuropathy, but, far and away, the most common is peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. In fact, about half of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy and the nerve damage is often irreversible.

Whether you have neuropathy due to diabetes, trauma, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), or some other condition, the end result is the same — your nerves aren’t functioning properly. This dysfunction not only leads to overactive pain signaling, but it can also produce symptoms like numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.

With spinal cord stimulation, we can’t improve the function of your nerves, but we can disrupt the overactive and dysfunctional signaling.

The many advantages of spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its many benefits in combating hard-to-treat pain — there was an increase in usage of 186% between 2009 and 2018 in the United States, and the numbers are still climbing.

Some of the benefits of neuromodulation include:

  • Reducing reliance on potentially addictive pain medications
  • Safety — neuromodulation is very low on risk
  • Pain control — you have a remote that operates the stimulator
  • Avoiding surgery

And, on the off chance that spinal cord stimulation isn’t effective for managing your neuropathy symptoms, we can easily remove the unit and look for other solutions.

If you’d like to explore whether spinal cord stimulation is right for your neuropathy, please call our office in Chandler, Arizona, at 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.