Chronic pain occurs when the body continues to cause discomfort for an extended period. The pain can have a significant impact on activities of daily life. Simple tasks like bathing, getting dressed, or even working can be challenging. If chronic pain isn’t addressed, it can lead to additional problems such as depression or reliance on medication to numb the pain.
Spinal cord stimulation is a new, non-surgical option where a surgeon implants a device that sends low levels of electricity into the spinal cord to help the patient find pain relief.
Spinal cord stimulation can improve quality of life by minimizing pain and allowing patients to be active without relying on pain medication. It may be an option when other non-surgical techniques have not been effective.
With spinal cord stimulation, the surgeon inserts thin wires (electrodes) into a small battery pack (generator) similar to a pacemaker. Then, the surgeon places the electrodes between the spinal cord and the vertebrae.
The generator is placed under the skin, either in the abdomen or the buttocks. The finished procedure allows patients to send electrical impulses when they feel pain by using a remote control.
Though the complete mechanism behind how it works is still being studied, it is believed that the stimulation targets muscle groups around the spine and may alter pain signals to the brain.
With traditional stimulation, the pain is replaced by a slight tingling feeling. The sensation is termed paresthesia. Some patients find this feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, patients now may have newer devices implanted where the paresthesia is not felt.
Your surgeon needs to determine if spinal cord stimulation is proper for you as with any procedure. Patients usually have imaging tests before the procedure and medical screenings to ensure suitable candidates.
Patients who benefit the most seem to be those who have not experienced relief with medications, physical therapy, or other prior procedures. You may also need a psychological screening as patients with anxiety or depression may decrease the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation is an outpatient procedure that takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
Devices are placed by a surgeon with specialized training in interventional pain management. The generator is inserted under the skin, and sterile electrodes are inserted through small incisions. The surgeon uses fluoroscopy to determine where the electrodes should be placed.
Surgeons use local anesthesia, so little to no pain is felt during the procedure. When the electrodes and the generator are connected and working, the surgeon will close the incisions and provide light sedation for comfort during recovery in the surgical suite.
The goal of our surgeons is to provide the best in patient care by focusing on both the physical symptoms and addressing the emotional well-being of our patients. We provide reliable, expertise-lasting non-surgical solutions and give you the time you need to understand your care plan fully.
We offer several convenient locations for our patients:
Resolving pain can be complex, but our surgeons use innovative techniques, including spinal cord stimulation for candidates.
Dr. Luis Escobar is a leading provider of interventional pain management. Dr. Escobar is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesia, the American Board of Pain Management, and has been an expert in the field for over fifteen years. Dr. Escobar works diligently with his patients to treat the source of pain so you can get back to the things you love in life.
Dr. Lucien C. Alexandre, MD Ph.D., is a triple board-certified interventional pain doctor and neurologist. He specializes in interventional pain medicine, interventional headaches, and neurology. His extensive academic experience and professional training at some of the world’s most prestigious medical institutions have made him an expert in the field of interventional pain medicine and neurological disorders.
Are you experiencing pain? We can help! Contact us for a consultation today and move towards a pain-free life.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.