About 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives, and it often resolves with minimal medical intervention. But for those who suffer with chronic back pain, the ordeal presents numerous challenges and can detract from the quality of your life. Pain that persists for three months or more is considered chronic.
If you’ve tried medications, physical therapies, injections, and a host of other treatments to alleviate your back pain without success, a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) may be the solution that finally brings you long-term relief. The anesthesiology and pain medicine specialists at Comprehensive Pain Management, with four convenient locations in Attleboro and Franklin, Massachusetts, and South Kingstown and Warwick, Rhode Island, recommend spinal cord stimulators for men and women with chronic back pain who haven’t found relief, even after spinal surgery.
Improve your quality of life with a spinal cord stimulator
A spinal cord stimulator is an implantable electrical device that interrupts pain signals before they can reach your brain. The stimulator, which your doctor implants in your lower back while you’re under anesthesia, is connected to thin wires that deliver tiny pulses of a mild electric current to specific nerves in your spinal cord.
Pain signals from your lower back travel up your spinal cord to alert your brain of discomfort; however, the stimulator interferes with these signals, reducing the amount of pain you actually feel. You control the settings on your SCS with a remote control; this allows you to adjust the electrical pulses to your desired comfort level and degree of effectiveness.
It’s important to note that a spinal cord stimulator doesn’t eliminate the source of your pain, but it does change the way your brain interprets the pain signals. As a result, you may achieve a 50%-70% reduction in pain symptoms. If you’re in constant pain to the point that it affects the quality of your life, this represents a significant improvement, and it can make a big difference in your ability to participate in daily activities.
Try it first, then decide if it’s for you
Before your physician at Comprehensive Pain Management permanently implants the SCS during a minor surgical procedure, you get to try it out with an external device. Your doctor temporarily connects the surgical wires, or leads, from an external SCS to specific nerves in your spinal cord. This trial period — typically 5-7 days — is an important part of deciding whether or not you should get a spinal cord stimulator implanted under your skin. It allows you to experiment with different settings and learn how the SCS works — or doesn’t work — for your specific type of pain.
There are several different types of SCS systems, that your pain management physician may recommend based on your individual needs, including:
- Conventional systems that require an additional surgery later on to replace the power source
- Rechargeable systems that allow you to recharge the power to your implanted SCS
If you suffer from chronic back pain and you’ve tried a variety of treatments to alleviate pain at the source, or even if you’ve had failed back surgery, talk to the expert team at Comprehensive Pain Management. Once they evaluate your overall health, wellness, and back condition, they can determine if you’re a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. It could be the pain management solution you’ve been searching for.
Choose the Massachusetts or Rhode Island location that’s most convenient for you, and call the office to schedule a consultation today.