Spinal cord stimulation therapy masks pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device, similar to a pacemaker, delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord. It helps people better manage their chronic pain and reduce their use of opioid medications. It may be an option if you suffer chronic back, leg or arm pain and have not found relief with other therapies. This can help with pain relief—even when other therapies have failed.
Your nerves and brain are constantly communicating with each other. When you feel pain, it’s because the nerves are sending a pain signal to your brain. The pain can be acute, and go away within a couple of months, as often happens after an injury. Or the pain can be chronic, which means that it lasts six months or longer. SCS therapy is designed to help treat chronic, ongoing pain
SCS may sound complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. SCS systems have a small implanted pulse generator, called a stimulator, and thin wires called leads. These are implanted into your body. The stimulator delivers tiny pulses of mild electric current through the leads to specific nerves on the spinal cord. These impulses mask pain signals traveling to the brain.
A remote control allows you to turn stimulation on and off, increase and decrease the level of stimulation, and target different pain areas in your body using settings or programs designed specifically for you. This stimulation does not get rid of what’s causing the pain. It changes the way the brain perceives it. SCS therapy may use a gentle tingling or fluttering sensation to replace the pain. Other forms of SCS therapy don’t cause any sensation at all.
SCS therapy has been proven safe and effective. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have been treated with SCS. All SCS Systems offered by Alliance Spine and Pain are FDA-approved
The trial system lets you temporarily and discreetly “test drive” SCS and decide if you want to move forward with receiving the device. The amount of pain relief you feel is different for everyone, but the therapy is considered successful if it reduces your pain by at least 50%.
The SCS system offers multiple settings to meet your personal pain relief. The remote control allows you to adjust the area of treatment or the strength of the treatment allowing for a truly individual therapy for your specific pain.
An evaluation of your physical condition, medication regime, and pain history will determine whether your goals of pain management are appropriate for SCS. An Alliance Spine and Pain Centers physician will review all previous treatments and surgeries. Because chronic pain also has emotional effects, a psychologist will assess your condition to maximize the probability of a successful outcome.
You may be a candidate for SCS if:
SCS works better in the earlier stages of a chronic condition, before a cycle of pain-suffering-disability-pain is established.
An SCS can help lessen chronic pain caused by:
If you are considering SCS, connect with Alliance Spine & Pain Centers. We understand the challenge of finding chronic pain relief, and our experts will help you find the answers. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 770-929-9033 or visit us online.