If you’re one of the millions of Americans who lives with chronic pain, you may want to consider spinal cord stimulation.
Designed to treat severe pain that doesn’t respond to more conservative treatments, this special device works with your body’s pain signals to bring you long-lasting relief without the hassle or risks of major surgery.
Our expert team at Houston Pain Specialists, led by board-certified pain management specialist Hui Kang, MD, provides spinal cord stimulation as a drug-free option for pain relief that may help you avoid surgery.
Let’s take a closer look at spinal cord stimulation, including six chronic pain conditions that may benefit.
How spinal cord stimulation works
Spinal cord stimulation sends mild electrical impulses to your spinal cord. These impulses interrupt pain signals to your brain to minimize your symptoms.
Once you’ve successfully completed a roughly week-long trial with a non-implanted device, Dr. Kang implants the small device under your skin. That device delivers the helpful impulses through insulated wires that he places adjacent to your spinal cord.
You can adjust the stimulator to target specific areas or provide more or less pain relief using a handheld device that functions like a remote control.
The stimulator itself is usually barely visible beneath the skin and comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts around 9 years.
Conditions spinal cord stimulation treats
If your chronic pain hasn’t resolved through other treatments or you wish to avoid surgery, you may be a strong candidate for spinal cord stimulation. But be sure to let us know if you have another implanted device, epilepsy, or a heart problem, as that may disqualify you.
Spinal cord stimulation treats a range of conditions marked by chronic pain, including:
- Chronic sciatica
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Failed back surgery
- Nerve damage
- Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
While research is ongoing, spinal cord stimulation may also help reduce pain associated with central pain syndrome, ischemia, chronic chest pain, and spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord stimulation results
While results vary, most successful outcomes from spinal cord stimulation bring an upper 80% reduction in chronic pain. That drop in pain may mean returning to the more active lifestyle you miss and a lesser need for other treatments, such as oral or injected medications.
Less pain may also make physical therapy more helpful or feasible, paving the way for the added perks of improved muscle strength and flexibility. And those benefits may help protect you from additional pain in the future.
To learn more about spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain or to get started toward the pain relief you need, contact our Houston, Texas, office today to schedule an appointment.