The Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Relieving Pain

Mar 15, 2023
The Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Relieving Pain
Are you exhausted and frustrated with trying to find the best solution for relieving your chronic pain? If you want to explore a pain relief option that’s short on risk and long on relief, read on to learn more about spinal cord stimulation.

If you’re struggling to find a solution for your chronic pain, you're not alone. In fact, one in five adults in the United States is in the same situation. Like millions of others, you may be frustrated by many of the options, which can carry more risk than you’d care to add to your existing problem.

Here at Apex Pain Specialists, our board-certified pain management experts Dr. Maziar Massrour and Dr. Naveen Reddy hear you loud and clear, which is why we offer a wide range of solutions, including spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

In the following, we explore how this innovative approach to pain management is short on risk and long on results.

How spinal cord stimulation works

Spinal cord stimulation is a technique in which we insert electrodes into the epidural space in your spine next to the problematic nerves that are sending the pain signals. These electrodes deliver mild electrical impulses, which disrupt the signals that are being sent to your brain.

The electrodes are attached to a small pulse generator, which we normally place near the lower back. We implant both the electrodes and generator during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.

The many uses of spinal cord stimulation

Each year, about 50,000 spinal cord stimulators are implanted, and this number is growing thanks to the success of this pain management technique.

There are many conditions that can benefit from spinal cord stimulation, including:

This list is by no means comprehensive, as the scope of spinal cord stimulation is still being tested.

The many benefits of spinal cord stimulation

There are many reasons why our patients find SCS to be an ideal solution, including the following:

It can reduce the need for medication

With spinal cord stimulation, you can reduce, or eliminate entirely, your need for potentially addictive painkillers.

It can prevent the need for surgery

Undergoing surgery to relieve pain may not be a road you want to go down, in which case SCS may be a great alternative. With SCS, we don’t make any anatomical changes. We simply implant electrodes and a generator.

For those who’ve already undergone surgery but haven’t found relief, SCS may help you avoid having to undergo a second surgery.

You can control the spinal cord stimulator

After we implant your spinal cord stimulator, you control the level of pain management with a remote. Of course, we program the unit with the range we believe will work best for your condition. From there, you operate your SCS within this range.

You get a test run

Another benefit that many of our patients appreciate is that we first conduct a trial run before we implant the generator. During your trial period, we implant the electrodes, which are controlled by a battery back that you wear on a special belt. This allows us to determine whether SCS will work for you before we install the generator.

It works

While studies are ongoing, the results so far have been promising. For example, one analysis of studies conducted from 2009-2020 concluded that SCS provided “safe and durable pain relief,” for people who struggled with chronic pain, and that SCS may decrease reliance on pain medications.

To learn more about SCS and to see if it may be able to help you, call 480-820-7246 or book an appointment online with Apex Pain Specialists today.