Chronic Back Pain: Can Spinal Cord Stimulation Help?

Trying to find effective, long-term relief for back pain can be frustrating, especially if you want to avoid surgery or risky pain-relieving medications. The good news is there are other solutions.

Each year, approximately 14,000 people worldwide turn to spinal cord stimulation, and these numbers continue to rise every year. This innovative pain-relieving treatment relies on neurostimulation, which is a process that uses mild electrical pulses to interfere with the pain signals that nerves send to your brain.

Our team at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers offers spinal cord stimulation at each of our five locations, including our newest office in Las Vegas. If you have chronic back pain, here’s how spinal cord stimulation could help.

Spinal cord stimulation basics

Spinal cord stimulators made their debut as a form of pain treatment in 1967. The technology has advanced significantly since those early days, but it still involves thin wires and a small battery pack. 

When you get a spinal cord stimulator, we implant thin wires in the epidural space located between your spinal cord and vertebrae. Tiny electrodes at the ends of these wires transmit electrical pulses to nerves in the area.

These mild currents interfere with the pain signals the nerves are sending to your brain, thus changing the sensations. So, instead of experiencing pain, you may feel a slight tingling or nothing at all.

The small battery pack powers the entire system, and you can control the unit with a wireless remote. It’s also safe to use with other forms of treatment. Furthermore, it can improve your sleep and overall quality of life and reduce your need for pain-relieving medications.

Spinal cord stimulation and chronic back pain

We recommend spinal cord stimulation for numerous conditions, especially chronic back pain. Back conditions that respond well to spinal cord stimulation include the following:

If you’ve tried less-invasive treatments for back pain without getting relief, we may recommend a spinal cord stimulation trial. 

Putting spinal cord stimulation to the test

One of the best parts of spinal cord stimulation is that you can have a trial period to make sure it works before undergoing implantation.

During your spinal cord stimulation trial, we place the electrodes in your epidural space. However, you wear the small battery-powered generator on the outside of your body for a week. This approach reduces the number of incisions needed, and you can determine how well the device reduces your symptoms.

We typically consider trials a success if there’s at least a 50% reduction in pain. 

Spinal cord stimulation implantation

If your trial is a success, we can move forward with implantation. This process involves anchoring permanent electrodes securely in place. Then, we insert your small battery pack underneath your skin through a small incision, usually in your lower abdomen or buttocks. Finally, we test your device and close your incisions.

We can implant spinal cord stimulators at each of our locations, including at our newest office in Las Vegas. It often takes 1-2 hours, and you can go home the same day.

After having your spinal cord stimulator implanted, you may have mild tenderness and pain at your incision sites. This discomfort should fade as you heal, and you should be able to resume your regular activities within 1-2 weeks. 

Do you want to see if spinal cord stimulation can relieve your chronic back pain? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers today. We have five locations, including a new office in Las Vegas.

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