Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.

Dealing With Chronic Back Pain? Spinal Cord Stimulation May Be the Answer

Chronic back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults, in part, because the back and spinal column are complex structures. There is a lot that can go wrong there. Often, back pain gets better with self-management. Things like icing and rest cure many problems temporarily. When that isn’t enough, Florida Pain Medicine will look for an alternative that might include spinal cord stimulation.

What causes chronic back pain?

There are many conditions that can lead to chronic back pain, including:

There are also risk factors that make some more prone to this kind of pain, such as:

Sometimes, lifestyle changes can alleviate the problem, such as losing weight or starting to exercise. When that’s not enough, the doctors at Florida Pain Medicine will look for another way for you to get relief.

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation involves applying a low-level electrical signal to the spinal cord or affected nerves to block the pain. The electrical impulse keeps the pain signal from reaching the brain. With the help of a spinal cord stimulator implant, the electrical stimulation provides a way to minimize pain without your having to take a lot of medication.

Each stimulation devices requires a power source that is either replaced surgically when necessary or charged externally. Some units have an external power source that the patient wears. More modern stimulation devices recharge through the skin, though.

Who should consider spinal cord stimulation?

Candidates for spinal cord stimulation go through a screening process to determine if they would benefit from the procedure. It starts with a medical assessment to figure out why you are in pain. Some possible causes might include:

Scarring of the tissue that protects the spinal nerves Pain in the legs that might indicate nerve damage Diseases of the nervous system such as complex regional pain syndrome

For some, chronic back or neck pain comes from another source like heart problems. Generally, any person with chronic neck and back pain could potentially qualify.

What are the risks of spinal cord stimulation?

The risks are few, but there can be problems with the device. It may stop working. Sometimes, they move out of position and have to be removed.

To find out more about spinal cord stimulation, call the office at Florida Pain Medicine or go online and request an appointment for an evaluation.

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