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Is it Time to Get a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

The journey to pain relief can be very frustrating and often can feel like an impossible and never-ending journey. At Pain Specialty Group, our providers are aware that conservative methods of pain treatment may not always be sufficient to help a patient’s condition. Additionally, a patient may not be a good candidate for surgery for many reasons, so exploring alternative options is vital. When this is the case, it may be time to consider a spinal cord stimulator.

Spinal cord stimulation is a method of treatment that uses low-intensity electric signals to help block pain. For many people, a tingling sensation is felt where pain typically occurs. This procedure is usually done for patients experiencing localized leg or arm pain, while also decreasing the need for medications. A surgeon performs a spinal cord stimulation by administering a small implant in the back. This implant is what delivers the electrical signals along the spinal cord. The signal begins at a pulse generator on one end, and travels across a wire that ends at the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. The pain relief patients typically experience with a spinal cord stimulator is around 50% or better.

Getting Started

Much like surgery, the decision to get a spinal cord stimulator for your pain is a big decision. If you are interested in receiving one, you must go through some psychological and physical trials first. Psychologically, doctors prefer the potential patient to not have a history of depression or other psychiatric conditions related to their pain. Once psychologically cleared, the patient will go through a trial period with the stimulator to determine if a permanent implant may be a necessary and appropriate treatment to reduce their pain. This trial stimulation is crucial to determine the necessary current strength it takes to block the pain and the absence of pain. The trial occurs during your day-to-day life; you will be expected to keep a written log noting the experienced results for 3 to 5 days. If the trial ends with favorable results, you may qualify and be a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.

Discovering if a spinal cord stimulator is right for you requires a knowledgeable medical team well-versed in how different types of pain operate. The providers at Pain Specialty Group have a combined 50 years of experience helping patients with managing their chronic pain. Contact us here and come visit us at our Newington, New Hampshire office today to learn more about how we can help.

Author
Aidan Fisher, Maureen Cassidy Pain Specialty Group

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