Is it Time to get a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

Dec 07, 2016

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The journey to pain relief can be more frustrating than initially expected.

The journey to pain relief can be more frustrating than initially expected. At Garden State Pain Control we are aware that conservative methods of pain treatment may not always be sufficient to help a patient’s condition. The patient may also not be a good candidate for surgery for many reasons. When this is the case, it may be time to consider a spinal cord stimulator.

Spinal cord stimulation is a method of treatment that uses low-intensity electric signals that help block pain. For many people, it brings a tingling feeling to where the pain typically occurs. This is usually done for localized leg or arm pain and decreases the need for medications. A spinal cord stimulator is a small implant administered by a surgeon. This implant is what delivers the electrical signals along the spinal cord. The signal begins at a pulse generator on one end, before traveling across a wire that ends at the nerve fibers of the spinal cord.

Much like surgery, the decision to get a spinal cord stimulator for your pain is a big decision. If you are thinking of receiving one, you must go through some psychological and physical trials first. On the psychological side, doctors prefer it if patients did not have a history of depression or other psychiatric conditions that may involve your pain.

On the physical side, you must go through a trial period that gives you an idea of how the electrical current feels. This trial stimulation is vital in figuring out how the current can block your pain, how strong the current needs to be, and if the current itself isn’t painful. This trial isn’t restricted to the hospital; you will be expected to administer it yourself for 3 to 5 days and keep a written log of the results. If the trial ends with favorable results – usually pain relief that cuts the pain signals over half – you may qualify for a spinal cord stimulator.

Finding out if a spinal cord stimulator is right for you requires a medical team well versed in how different types of pain operate. The doctors of Garden State Pain Control Center have a combined 50 years experience of helping patients with managing their chronic pain. Contact one of our New Jersey offices today to learn more on how we can help.