What is a Spinal Stimulator?
If you are among the 100 million Americans who struggle with chronic pain, you may be looking for alternatives to pain medication. So, what is a spinal stimulator? A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is one promising source of relief. The SCS is a small device that delivers electrical signals to the spinal cord thereby masking the pain signals to the brain. The device is similar to a pacemaker and is surgically placed under the skin. Once in place, the spinal cord stimulator sends mild electrical signals to the spinal cord. It does not remove the source of pain, but it does disrupt the pain signal thereby reducing the pain experienced.
Is spinal cord stimulation right for me?
Now that you know what is a spinal stimulator, you may also wonder how it can help your condition. If you are suffering from chronic pain, an SCS may be right for you. There are several factors that can indicate the use of an SCS.
- Medication is not an option or is ineffective
- Surgery is not an option
- The side effects of medications and/or surgery are undesirable
- Your current method of pain relief is impacting your life in a negative way
What is a spinal stimulator supposed to do?
Some intended outcomes of placing a spinal cord stimulator are:
- Pain reduction of 50-70%
- Better able to sleep at night and relax during the day
- Reduced need for pain medication
- Better able to accomplish activities of daily living
You can adjust the SCS manually with a remote control. It can be turned off or on, and the strength of the stimulation can be increased or decreased. For more details about a spinal cord stimulator, see this Johns Hopkins Medicine article.
Who can provide spinal cord stimulation treatment?
Only a specialist can perform SCS surgery. If you have exhausted your options for pain relief through medication, surgery, or other treatments, this procedure may provide the relief you are seeking. The spine clinic at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help. Give us a call to set up a consultation with one of our trained physicians.