Interventional Pain Consultants
Pain Management, Spine, & Sports Medicine Physicians located in Parsippany, NJ
If non-surgical treatments or even surgery have failed to relieve your chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation can stop the signals from ever reaching your brain, so you don’t perceive them. At Interventional Pain Consultants in Parsippany, New Jersey, Kevin Elaahi, MD, Benjamin Kim, MD, and the team can place a spinal cord stimulator and teach you to use it effectively for pain relief. To see if spinal cord stimulation is the right course of treatment for you, call Interventional Pain Consultants, or book online today.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A
What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment method for various types of chronic pain that works by affecting the pain signals traveling through your spinal cord toward your brain. You perceive pain no matter where it occurs because it reaches your brain in this manner, so stopping or manipulating it along its track can sufficiently relieve it with no need for medications.
A common misconception is that lasers can treat your pain by affecting your spinal cord. But laser surgery can only treat soft tissues or remove structures placing pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, like tumors or herniated discs.
Spinal cord stimulation does affect the spinal cord and can give you pain relief with only minor surgery, as many people expect from laser surgery. In many cases, spinal cord stimulation targets the dorsal root ganglion. It’s a structure that your surgeon can easily access that plays a significant role in transmitting pain signals.
How do spinal cord stimulators work?
In order to experience the benefits of spinal cord stimulation, you must first undergo implantation surgery for your spinal cord stimulator. It’s a two-part device that includes a generator, which can be either rechargeable or single-use, and thin wires called electrodes.
Your surgeon implants the generator under your skin near your abdomen or buttocks. They thread the electrodes into the space between your spinal cord and vertebrae, called the epidural space.
Whenever you feel pain, you can use the remote control to your spinal cord stimulator to send electrical impulses through the electrodes to inhibit it. Depending on the type of stimulator you have, it either replaces the pain with a tingling sensation or stops it altogether.
What can spinal cord stimulation treat?
Spinal cord stimulation treats numerous forms of pain: Some originate in your spinal cord, while others originate in peripheral nerves (nerves throughout your body outside of the spinal cord). Interventional Pain Consultants might recommend spinal cord stimulation if you have:
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
CRPS causes chronic pain, typically in either an arm or a leg. It tends to develop after surgery or a major medical emergency like a heart attack or stroke. In addition to pain or burning, it often causes changes to the skin and mobility issues.
Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
FBSS is not really a condition but rather a term for back pain that persists after surgery. If you’ve had back surgery like a spinal fusion or discectomy and still feel pain, spinal cord stimulation may be an effective solution.
Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is nerve damage that affects nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It can be severely painful, and it can also cause other uncomfortable sensations like burning, a lack of coordination, or hypersensitivity to touch. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that comes from high blood glucose with diabetes.
Spinal stenosis happens when the foramen (channels or holes) through your vertebrae get narrower and place pressure on the nerves that run through them. This can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and other symptoms in various areas depending on where the nerves travel.
To see if spinal cord stimulation can relieve your chronic pain, request a consultation by phone or book online today.
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