What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation and How Can It Help With Chronic Pain?

What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation and How Can It Help With Chronic Pain?

Americans are no strangers to pain — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five American adults suffers from chronic pain, and more than 7% of adults experience high-impact pain that limits their lives. 

While it may be of some comfort knowing you’re not alone if you’re struggling with chronic pain, this does little to relieve your discomfort, which is where spinal cord stimulation may hold the key.

As part of our wide range of specialities here at Broward Specialty Group, our team offers pain management services, which include the most advanced and evidence-based treatment options available. When it comes to stubborn and treatment-resistant musculoskeletal pain, we’ve had great success with spinal cord stimulation, which we explain further here.

Spinal cord stimulation basics

Spinal cord stimulation isn’t necessarily new — it was first used in 1967 and was approved by the FDA in 1989 for pain management. Today, spinal cord stimulation represents 90% of all neuromodulation treatments, thanks to its efficacy and ease of use.

A spinal cord stimulator is a device we implant along your spinal cord that emits mild electrical impulses to disrupt the pain messaging to your brain. Your central nervous system is composed of your spinal cord and your brain, and your spinal cord acts as the main pathway to and from your brain. By disrupting the pain signaling along this pathway, the message never reaches your brain.

What spinal cord stimulation can treat

Spinal cord stimulation is a good option if you’ve been struggling with treatment-resistant pain. 

To give you an idea of its many applications, we use spinal cord stimulation to address:

Since the spinal cord stimulator is working within your central nervous system, it can address discomfort just about anywhere in your body.

Benefits of spinal cord stimulation

This approach to pain management offers several benefits, not the least of which is that spinal cord stimulation helps our patients find much-needed relief. All too often, patients come to see us after years of struggling with ongoing pain and they’re understandably frustrated and exhausted. 

Spinal cord stimulation offers a solution that can be:

This final point is one that’s well worth underscoring, as ongoing use of painkillers carries some substantial risk, including addiction.

Getting a spinal cord stimulator

To determine whether spinal cord stimulation would work for you, we perform a trial run first. Using live X-rays, we place temporary electrodes in the epidural space of your spine and then supply you with an external generator. 

If you experience a good degree of relief, we can then implant the permanent device during an outpatient procedure. During this minimally invasive surgery, we replace the electrodes we used during your trail run and implant a generator in your abdomen or buttocks.

If you’d like to explore further whether a spinal cord stimulator may be the answer to your chronic pain, contact one of our offices in Coconut Creek, Delray Beach, or Pompano Beach, Florida.

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