Spinal cord stimulation procedure

This procedures engulfs the pain signals before they reach the brain. The procedure uses a small device similar to pacemaker that delivers electric pulses to the spinal cord. It helps people to manage their acute pain and lessen their use of opioid medicaments. It may be a good option for those who suffer from acute pain in leg, back, or arm and have got no respite from other treatment options.

What is a spinal cord stimulator and how does it work?

Spinal cord stimulators have thin wires, the electrodes and a small battery pack, the generator. The electrodes are positioned between the vertebrae and the spinal cord. And the generator is positioned beneath the skin, generally near the buttocks or abdomen. These stimulators enables the patient to send the electrical signals via a remote control at the time of pain.

Gate theory of pain is the basis behind the mechanism of action followed by spinal cord stimulation process. Conventional spinal cord stinmulators displace the sensation of pain with slight prick known as paresthesia. Peole who find these paresthesia painful, latest devices give “sub-perception” stimulation that are not felt by the patient.

Several devices are used by the physicians who are trained in interventional pain management, guided by either X-ray and /or ultrasound.


What is spinal cord stimulation used for?

After all the non-surgical pain treatment becomes futile in providing sufficient relief then spinal cord stimulation comes into the picture. This procedure may be utilized to treat or manage different types of acute pain as

  • Post-surgery back pain due to failed back surgery syndrome
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Painful inflammation of a thin membrane known as arachnoid covering the brain and spinal cord
  • Untreatable heart pain in other ways
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Pain related to the nerve as acute diabetic neuropathy, cancer-related neuropathy due to radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy
  • Outlying cardiopathy
  • Complicated local pain syndrome
  • Post amputation or phantom limb pain
  • Ingrained abdominal pain and constant pain
  • Enuresis

Undergoing SCS helps in improving the quality of sleep and life decreasing the requirement for pain medications. Spinal cord stimulation is usually used with other pain management procedures such as oral medications, exercise, physiotherapy, and relaxing methods.

Who should get a spinal cord stimulator?

Just like other treatment options your physician will ensure that SCS is the best option for you to get relief from the acute pain. And to make the suggestion, the professional would most likely recommend undergoing screening tests and psychological assessment as well. To make sure that any form of psychological disorder is not making your situation worse.

Every individual has got a different dimension of a problem but in general, patients who get the most advantage from spinal cord stimulation are :

  • People who did not get much relief from medications, minimally invasive therapies, or prior operations.
  • People with no psychiatric ailment may affect the efficacy of the treatment.