What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Chronic back pain as a result of a slip and fall accident, car collision, or work injury affects millions of people every year. This condition often prevents people from living out their lives to the fullest extent, hindering them from performing simple actions or completing basic tasks at home and work. A personal injury attorney can help with awarding damages for such circumstances; however, the long lasting suffering is a different matter. Finding a way to treat chronic back pain has been on the minds of scientists for years, and one solution comes in the form of spinal cord stimulation. Here’s everything you need to know about this treatment.
What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator is a tiny device that is placed in the body near the spinal cord. It is surgically implanted right below the skin (much like a pacemaker) and has small wires that attach to nerves in the spinal cord. It is usually oriented near the bottom of the spine. As a back pain doctor like one from AmeriWell Clinics can explain, the stimulator wires are attached so that they can alter pain coming from problem muscle groups or areas of the body.
How Does Stimulation Work?
The stimulation of nerves is simple. Whenever a patient feels pain in the chronic area, back or lower, they can remotely activate the stimulator. The stimulator sends an electrical current through the wires to the nerves in the spinal cord that feel the pain.
How Does Stimulation Stop Pain?
The concept behind the spinal cord stimulator is that it can alter or prevent pain signals of the body from reaching the brain. When the electrodes attached to nerves are activated, the patient may feel a different sensation than pain, such as tingling, or they may feel nothing at all. The stimulator uniquely masks a person’s chronic pain, essentially tricking the brain into thinking there is reduced or no pain.
Who Is Eligible for Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Most people who receive a spinal cord stimulator have done everything else possible to reduce their chronic pain. The most common forms of pain come from the back, the arm, or the leg. Patients who go through stimulation treatment have almost always already had surgery in an attempt to fix the problem.
If you have chronic pain and found that nothing else has helped, consider talking to your back pain doctor about spinal cord stimulation. It doesn’t work for everyone, as some people dislike the alternative sensation to pain, but it may be worth trying. Even a slight reduction in chronic pain can get patients back to doing things they haven’t in a long time. Ask your physician if it might be a good choice for you.