Back pain is a common condition, and current research from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes estimates that 8 out of 10 adults suffer from back pain at some point. Back pain isn’t just a minor inconvenience. The same research estimates that the burden of back pain is worse now than it was in 1990. Back pain ranks as the third most burdensome condition, behind only heart disease and pulmonary disease.
Because chronic back pain can impact your ability to perform simple, daily tasks, it’s important to take action if you’re not getting the relief you need. Dr. Hui Kang and our skilled staff at Houston Pain Specialists are happy to offer both conservative and minimally-invasive solutions for back pain.
Continue reading to learn more about advanced spinal cord stimulators and how they can help you.
What are spinal cord stimulators?
Spinal cord stimulators are specialized, implantable devices that deliver electrical pulses to specific nerves. There are several varieties, but the basics are the same fr all. Each spinal cord stimulator consists of two parts:
- Electrodes, which are thin wires
- The generator, which is similar to the battery pack of a pacemaker
During the procedure, the generator is implanted (sometimes near the buttocks), and the electrodes are placed near a specific spot in your spinal cord. Some systems include a remote that you can control when you feel pain. Some systems are rechargeable, while others are not. The three main types of spinal cord stimulators include:
- Conventional implantable pulse generator (battery-operated)
- Rechargeable implantable pulse generator
- Radiofrequency stimulator
Dr. Kang will help you determine which spinal cord stimulator is best for you during your consultation.
How do spinal cord stimulators provide pain relief?
Normally, the nerves send pain signals to your brain, which registers the sensations as pain. When the spinal cord stimulator sends electrical signals to the nerve that interrupt the pain message to the brain. As a result, the spinal cord stimulators block those signals of pain from reaching your brain.
Spinal cord stimulators won’t correct the source of the pain, but they will help you to manage the pain so you receive an improved quality of life.
Targeting the right nerves
Before you receive your implantable spinal cord stimulator, you’ll receive a trial stimulator. The trial ensures that the right nerves are targeted and that the implantable device will provide the relief you need.
Chronic pain can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep, and sleep deprivation can make the pain seem worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Spinal cord stimulators can provide pain relief so that you can get the rest you need.
Less reliance on pain medication
Depending on the cause of your pain, spinal cord stimulators may not erase it, but they can reduce it enough to help decrease your need for pain medication. Some individuals feel a tingling sensation instead of the pain.
Is spinal cord stimulation right for you?
If you’re looking for a drug-free approach to help you manage chronic back pain, consider a spinal cord stimulator. At Houston Pain Specialists, we’re here to help you live your life comfortably. If you need help managing chronic back pain, we’re here to help you get the relief you deserve. Request an appointment by calling our Houston clinic at 713-664-2662, or use our online booking tool.