What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

What Is Spinal Cord Stimulation?

When you’re injured, nerves that reach every inch of your body send pain signals racing through your spinal cord to reach your brain. If you have chronic or persistent back pain, though, you might continue to feel the effects of pain signals without any clear reason why, like an injury or an underlying medical need.

At Performance Pain and Sports Medicine, we’re committed to taking your persistent back pain seriously. Our team, led by Dr. Suzanne Manzi and Dr. Matthias Wiederholz, treats new and existing patients from locations in Houston, Texas, and Lawrenceville and Raritan, New Jersey. 

We’ve got your back, in the most literal sense of the word!

We use a patient-centered approach to holistically and integratively address your back pain needs. Among the tools we rely on for your relief, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is one way to put control of your back pain back in your own hands. Here’s how this long-term pain relief treatment works.

Stopping the cycle of pain signals

Abnormal pain signals traveling through your spinal cord can trap you in a negative cycle of chronic pain. Instead of looking for an underlying cause that doesn’t exist, our team at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine can help you break your pain cycle by disrupting pain signals from certain areas of your spinal cord.

SCS treatment uses a safe, nearly imperceptible electrical pulse to block out and override pain signals from the part of your spine targeted in your treatment. With your SCS device providing controllable, regular electrical impulses, the nerves that keep sending out abnormal pain signals won’t have an impact on your experienced pain.

Trying out spinal cord stimulation

SCS treatment involves an implanted generator device and electrode leads connecting back to your spine. Before implanting your permanent device, your provider uses a multi-day trial to determine if this type of treatment will be effective for you.

For your trial, you use a generator device that you can wear around your waist. If SCS significantly reduces your pain levels during your trial, it’s time to go ahead with implantation. The implanted generator goes beneath the skin of your abdomen or buttocks. The implanted device is about the size of a pacemaker.

SCS for long-term pain relief results

SCS limits your dependence on pain management strategies like medication, which can become addictive. With SCS, you control your pain management with a handheld remote. You might need to replace or recharge the batteries that power your SCS device on a regular basis.

Dr. Manzi and Dr. Wiederholz recommend SCS treatments to patients dealing with chronic back pain conditions like sciatica and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). SCS can also help after failed back surgery.

SCS shows a long-term success rate of 47% to 74%, and is more likely to be effective for you if implemented earlier in your chronic pain journey.

To learn more about how SCS could help you, get in touch with our team at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine today. Call our office most convenient to you or schedule your appointment online.

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