Can Spinal Cord Stimulation Help My Chronic Back Pain?
Patients living with chronic pain may feel powerless in the face of their symptoms. Many chronic back pain sufferers mistakenly believe that relief is impossible because previous back pain treatments have failed them. However, our Texas pain specialists at the San Antonio offices of Dr. Raul Martinez want our patients to know that your pain is manageable and there are a variety of potential treatment options available to you.
Most back pain patients have heard of medications and surgery as potential treatment options, but many people are unaware of the benefits of spinal cord stimulation therapy. Spinal cord stimulation is a type of therapy that works by masking pain signals before they reach the brain. If you’re wondering, “Can spinal cord stimulation help my chronic back pain?” then read on to learn more from the experts at our San Antonio pain clinic.
How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?
A spinal cord stimulator is a small device similar to a pacemaker that is implanted beneath the skin along the spine, usually near the buttocks or abdomen. The pacemaker-like device is connected to thin wires called electrodes that are placed between the spinal cord and the vertebrae. A remote control for the device is kept outside the body, allowing patients to control the intensity level of the electrical stimulation. For a video explanation of the procedure, click here.
Who is a Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy?
Because spinal cord stimulators are expensive devices requiring surgery to implant and subsequent upkeep, they are usually only implanted in patients whose pain has not responded to exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and other less-invasive treatment options. Spinal cord stimulation is also a good option for patients who have previously tried surgery and whose pain symptoms have persisted.
Finally, spinal cord stimulation is a good option for patients who want to avoid or reduce narcotic painkiller usage, since spinal cord stimulation reduces pain through electrical stimulation alone.
What Do Spinal Cord Stimulators Feel Like?
Most spinal cord stimulators replace pain signals with a slight tingling sensation that is referred to as paresthesia. However, for patients who find this tingling sensation uncomfortable, newer devices sometimes offer stimulation that can’t be felt.
What Does Recovery Look Like After Spinal Cord Stimulators are Implanted?
If you’re considering spinal cord stimulation treatment, you should know that it is generally considered safe and reversible. The risks of the procedure are generally associated with the surgery to implant the device. However, you should know that the implantation surgery is considered minimally-invasive, and recovery usually lasts about six weeks, for most patients.
Studies have shown that more than 80% of patients receiving spinal cord stimulation treatment experience significant pain relief, and spinal cord stimulation therapy is considered successful when patients reduce their pain levels by at least half. Serious complications with this procedure are rare, and device-related problems are far more common than physical problems in patients with the implant. Many generators can be recharged and used for years; however, some patients require additional surgeries to replace the generator.
Looking for a San Antonio Pain Clinic That Performs Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy?
Call the Offices of Dr. Raul Martinez Today
If you’re ready to schedule a consultation to discuss spinal cord stimulation treatment, our physicians are here to help you. To schedule an appointment at our San Antonio clinic, fill out our patient forms, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Don’t wait—relief from chronic back pain is possible, and our Texas pain specialists want to help you find the back pain treatment that will work for you.