Many patients experience long-lasting pain relief with spinal cord stimulation, but don’t worry, you won’t have to guess about whether it works for you. The experienced team at Florida Pain Medicine have you try the device before implanting the generator.
No matter what condition causes your pain, spinal cord stimulation may help. If you’re interested in learning more or giving it a try, don’t wait to call. We can answer your questions and talk about your pain relief options.
In the meantime, learning about the top six benefits might help you decide if spinal cord stimulation could be right for you.
You get to try the device to see if it works before committing to having the generator implanted. Here’s how it works. The spinal cord stimulator has two primary parts. The pulse generator (implanted under your skin) sends mild electrical impulses through lead wires (inserted into the epidural space along your spine).
During your trial period, we use a simple, needle-like device to guide the lead wires through the epidural space, positioning them next to the nerves responsible for carrying your pain signals. Then you wear the generator around your body and use the device for about a week.
After a week, you’ll know how well it relieves your pain, and you can decide whether you want to keep the device. If you keep it, we will implant the generator. And if you don’t want it, we can easily remove the lead wires.
Once your spinal cord stimulator is implanted, it can stay in place for years. You can get continuous pain relief until you decide you want it removed or its battery runs out, and then we need to implant a new one if you want to continue the treatment.
The life of a spinal cord stimulator battery depends on the type. A standard battery lasts about three to four years, depending on how often you use the device. A rechargeable battery lasts much longer, often up to 10 years. If your battery is running low, you’ll see a message on the spinal cord stimulator’s remote control device.
When you take medications, they circulate through your bloodstream. As a result, they affect body areas that aren’t related to your pain and sometimes cause unwanted side effects.
By comparison, spinal cord stimulation targets the specific nerves responsible for your pain. No matter where your pain originates, sensory nerves from your body carry the pain message to your spinal cord and then your brain.
Spinal cord stimulation blocks the message where it enters the spinal cord. The device sends a mild electrical current into the precisely targeted nerve, masking the pain signal.
We can essentially short-circuit the pain signals coming from anywhere in your body and prevent them from reaching your brain. Your brain doesn’t perceive the pain, so most people experience significant pain relief.
This technique also means that spinal cord stimulation can ease pain caused by nearly any problem in your body. A few examples include:
If you struggle with any type of pain that isn’t responding to conservative medical care, talk with us about spinal cord stimulation.
You can use the device’s remote controller to turn the spinal cord stimulator on and off as needed for your pain. More importantly, we can also adjust the intensity of the pulse if needed to ensure optimal pain relief.
You can choose to have the spinal cord stimulator removed at any time. It only requires a simple procedure to remove the lead wires and generator.
If you take medications as part of your pain management plan, there’s a good chance that the pain relief provided by spinal cord stimulation will give you the ability to lower your dose or possibly stop taking medication entirely.
Ready to learn more about spinal cord stimulation and if it’s a good option for relieving your pain? Call Florida Pain Medicine, or book an appointment online today.