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Is Spinal Cord Stimulation for You?

One of the major benefits of spinal cord stimulation is that it is a non-medicinal pain treatment. With the opioid problem in the United States at such extreme levels, doctors are exploring new applications for pain management treatments. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this pain therapy.

If you have had back surgery and are still in considerable pain, this condition is called failed back surgery syndrome. Several types of nerve pain associated with chronic conditions like complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral neuropathy are all possible conditions that may be treatable with spinal cord stimulation.

Spinal cord stimulators work a little like pace makers for your heart. The equipment is implanted through a minimally-invasive procedure. Thin wires called leads are inserted into the back through a hollow needle and implanted into the spinal cord. A small device called a generator is surgically implanted in the abdomen or buttocks. The wires are connected to the generator and deliver rhythmic pulses of electricity into the spinal cord.

Another advantage of spinal cord stimulation is that patients can try the method out in a trial period before having it implanted. If it doesn’t relieve or reduce your pain, the leads (wires) are easily removed without general anesthesia, during an office visit. In a spinal cord stimulator trial, leads are inserted into the spine and adjusted with patient input to ensure that the pain is addressed. A generator is worn on the patient’s belt, with wires taped across his or her back to the site of the insertion. A controller adjusts the pulses to the optimal level and can be changed during this period. Once the patient and doctor determine that it does work well to relieve pain, the generator can be permanently implanted.

If you have chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation may be able to help. Lynx Healthcare offers expert pain management, including spinal cord stimulators to our patients in the Northwest region. Contact us today to request an appointment with one of our specialists.

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