Living with chronic back pain can be troublesome for many individuals. Most back pain is acute and does not last for a long period of time. This type of pain typically resolves on its own with self-care at home. For those individuals who experience chronic back pain lasting 12 weeks or longer, a pain management treatment may be necessary. A spinal cord stimulator is offered at OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine® for patients in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area who are seeking alleviation from chronic back pain.
What is Considered Chronic Back Pain?
Chronic back pain is defined as pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute back pain has been treated. Approximately 20% of individuals affected by acute pain will develop chronic pain.
Chronic back pain is commonly caused by spine conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Chronic pain can also be caused by failed back surgery syndrome, fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathy. In cases where traditional treatments have not alleviated the pain, a spinal cord stimulator may be the answer.
What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator can be used to treat chronic back pain associated with failed back surgery, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathy and other back conditions. A spinal cord stimulator uses low voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the feeling of pain. A small, battery-powered generator implanted in the body transmits an electrical current to the spinal cord. By interrupting pain signals and turning them into a pleasant, tingling sensation, many patients can return to a more active and healthy lifestyle.
How is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Administered?
For a spinal cord stimulator, soft, thin wires with electrical leads on their tips are placed in the back near the spinal column with a needle. A small incision is then made and a small generator is placed in the upper buttock or abdomen, under the skin, which emits electrical currents to the spinal column. The generator is programmable so the area or intensity of the electrical stimulation can be changed at any time to provide optimal chronic back pain relief.
Determining if spinal cord stimulation is the correct treatment for chronic back pain and understanding the implantation process is complex. To determine if you are a candidate, please contact the physicians at OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine®.