Spinal Cord Stimulation
When you experience pain, it is a delivery of messages sent through the nervous system to your brain. It is an essential and efficient system to protect your body from damage, alerting you to injuries. Unfortunately, the nervous system can also be the source of unnecessary pain. Stopping or interrupting pain signals at the spinal cord can offer relief for many people with back or lower extremity pain. Allied Pain & Spine Institute in Mountain View offers spinal cord stimulation as one of our chronic pain treatment modalities.
The nerve signals that enter the spinal cord are types of electrical impulses. With spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, a controlled electrical current is used to interrupt and confuse pain signals. When the nerves that are signaling pain are exposed to a low electrical current, the pain signal can be interrupted or changed. Instead, the brain interprets the signal as a tingling sensation instead of pain. This can offer substantial pain relief to those with certain conditions, including sciatica, complex regional pain syndrome and nerve damage.
Who Is a Good Candidate for SCS?
Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, uses an implanted device. Once this device is implanted, it is controlled by a remote. The patient can adjust the electrical current as needed to offer pain relief. While effective for many people, not everyone responds the same. To determine if a patient is a good candidate for SCS, we first perform a testing phase. A temporary device is placed on the outside of the skin with leads that stimulate the targeted nerves. This test or trial phase usually lasts less than a week to determine if this therapy would be beneficial to the patient. If the response is positive, the implantation procedure can be performed.
Spinal cord stimulation can offer long-term benefits for controlling many types of chronic pain. This therapy can reduce or eliminate the need for opioids or other pain medications and help the patient improve their quality of life. SCS is considered safe and effective. Plus, it is reversible if at any point it is not effective or no longer is needed.
If you have chronic pain and are interested in learning more about spinal cord stimulation or other treatments we offer at Allied Pain & Spine Institute, come see us at our clinic in Mountain View. We specialize in minimally or non-invasive treatments to manage chronic pain for a better quality of life for our patients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our chronic pain experts to explore treatment options, including SCS.