It’s no secret that back pain is a pretty common thing. We all deal with it at some point in our life and some more than others. But what do you do when back pain becomes a crippling chronic condition? What do you do when you have tried conservative and surgical options?
Spinal cord stimulators provide relief for people who suffer from radiating pain down their spine and have exhausted both conservative and surgical options. People who qualify for spinal cord stimulators have failed back surgery, have chronic neck and back pain, or they have neuropathic pain that travels to their extremities. The spinal cord stimulator cancels the feeling of pain by overloading your body with a different stimulus. It’s kinda like when you touch a hot plate and shake your hand. Shaking your hand makes the pain stop.
Patients who undergo the spinal cord stimulator trial consult with a pain management doctor (in our practice, Dr. Mejia or Dr. Tabije) to make sure that they meet the clinical requirements. If the trial is successful and the patient is determined to be a good candidate the procedure will be scheduled.
The trial lasts up to a week. A representative will stay in touch with you to make sure that you are doing well. During the trial you will see whether or not the stimulator is beneficial. A 50% or higher improvement of the symptoms indicates a successful trial. If you benefit from trial and are interested in a permanent spinal cord stimulator, you are referred to a neurosurgeon to receive the device. If you are interested in a trial, schedule an appointment today!
Disclaimer: While spinal cord stimulators are recommended for chronic pain, it is contraindicated for patients who have had previous spinal surgery with associated spinal canal scarring. Spinal stenosis and scoliosis are also contraindicated for implantation of device. Medical conditions that require patients to utilize pacemakers or blood thinners do not meet clinical requirements for spinal cord stimulators as well.