Spinal Cord Stimulator Q & A

How does a spinal cord stimulator relieve my pain?

Spinal cord stimulators stop nerves from sending pain signals to your brain, or they mask the signal so your brain can’t interpret the message.
Sensory nerves throughout your body detect pain and transmit a nerve impulse to your brain. Your brain then interprets the message and tells you to feel the pain.

When the nerves are blocked or scrambled, your brain doesn’t get the signal, which means you won’t feel the pain. Spinal cord stimulators accomplish the task by sending a mild electrical impulse into the nerves responsible for your pain.

How does my doctor implant the spinal cord stimulator?

Spinal cord stimulators consist of a controller, a generator and lead wires. Your doctor at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® implants the generator under the skin of your abdomen or upper buttock and threads the flexible wires along your spine, placing the electrodes near the nerves relaying pain messages.

Then your doctor uses the controller to program the strength and frequency of the electrical impulses. You also use the controller to turn the generator on and off. When it’s on, it sends regular electrical impulses through the electrodes and into the nerves.

What pain conditions does a spinal cord stimulator treat?

Your doctor at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® may recommend a spinal cord stimulator when you need relief from chronic pain caused by:

  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Failed back surgery
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy

If you suffer from chronic pain, don’t hesitate to contact Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® to learn more about spinal cord stimulation.

How will I know if spinal cord stimulation might work for me?

Each patient considering a spinal cord stimulator goes through a trial period. Your Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® doctor places the electrodes along your spine, but you wear the generator around your waist.

After using the trial stimulator system for up to a week, you can decide if you want to have a permanent SCS system implanted.  8-9 out of 10 patients choose do you have the stimulator system implanted permanently because it provides such affective pain relief during the trial. However, if you decide not to proceed with permanent implantation, your doctor will easily remove the trail leads at your office follow up visit

You’re considered to be a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation if you have a successful trial, you’ve had chronic pain for at least three months, and other treatments haven’t relieved your pain.

If you struggle with chronic pain, call Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine®, or schedule an appointment online to learn more about the benefits of the spinal cord stimulator.