Can I Zap My Pain Away?
I’m glad you asked, and the answer is yes. If you have chronic back or leg pain after having undergone a previous back surgery or have been diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), to name a few potential conditions treated, you may be a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.
Although the science may sound space age, it is a treatment that has been around for years; the first documented use occurring in 1967. The technology behind spinal cord stimulation continues to grow and we are now leaps and bounds ahead of 1967 technology.
The spinal cord stimulator process is a "try it before you buy it" process. Talk with your Advanced Spine and Pain (ASAP) practitioner and if he/she feels you are a candidate a trial will be initiated. During the trial, wires (leads) will be inserted through a hollow needle and moved into position along the spine, without incision. The leads have multiple electrodes that can be positioned with x-ray guidance over specific nerves depending on where your pain travels. The leads are subsequently taped down to prevent movement during the trial and inserted into a battery pack that will be worn on a belt. A handheld device will be given to allow the patient the ability to adjust the pulse settings to get the most pain relief possible. The stimulator delivers a small amount of current through the leads to mask pain messages being sent to the brain. If after a few days of utilizing the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) the patient feels the pain relief has been significant, then the temporary device is removed in-office and the patient is scheduled for an outpatient surgery to surgically implant a more permanent device.
If ineffective, the temporary device is removed and there are no hard feelings. If this is intriguing to you, please discuss further with your ASAP provider or ask for more information. We may just be able to zap that pain away.