Chronic pain that endures for years without improving can drive you to despair. The pain experts at Interventional Spine and Pain Center in Manchester and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, specialize in helping people who have chronic pain conditions and have extensive experience in using implantable devices like spinal cord stimulators and pain pumps. Call Interventional Spine and Pain Center today to find out more or book an appointment online.
A spinal cord stimulator is an implantable neurostimulation device that helps patients control chronic pain in their back, legs, and arms. It’s particularly useful for patients who have neuropathic pain, which is caused by nerve damage or dysfunction. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) technology is a safe and effective therapy that’s helped people manage their chronic pain for over 40 years.
A spinal cord stimulator works by interfering with pain signals sent by nerves in your spine to your brain. If the pain signals can’t get through, you don’t feel the pain. The technology inside the spinal cord stimulator uses electrical impulses to disrupt the pain, and you’re in control of how strong the impulses need to be.
Having a spinal cord stimulator implant involves several surgeries. The first, more minor procedure is a trial implant so you can test the stimulator and see if it’s beneficial. The second surgery takes place under general anesthetic, and this is where your provider at Interventional Spine and Pain Center implants the spinal cord stimulator unit in a permanent position under your skin.
In the first phase, the Interventional Spine and Pain Center team makes small incisions in your back and positions leads with electrodes into the epidural space around your spinal cord. You're under a local anesthetic to make sure you’re comfortable but still able to tell your provider when the leads are in the most effective position.
Over the week of your spinal cord stimulator trial, you use an external unit to control your pain, assessing whether it makes enough of a difference to justify having a permanent implant. If you and the Interventional Spine and Pain Center team are happy with the results, you can arrange permanent implantation.
The permanent spinal cord stimulator implantable pulse generator (IPG) battery goes into a small incision in your abdomen or one of your buttocks and connects to permanent leads. You have a remote control device to adjust the strength of the electrical impulse, thereby helping you to manage your pain more effectively.
There are several implantable devices available for treating chronic pain. Peripheral nerve stimulation devices act on the peripheral nerves. Your spinal cord and brain make up your central nervous system, with the rest of your nerves known as peripheral. Peripheral nerve stimulators can help patients who suffer from migraines as well as chronic musculoskeletal pain.
The other main implantable device used for treating chronic pain is the intrathecal pain pump. This device is similar to a spinal cord stimulator in that you control your pain using a hand-held device. However, instead of using electrical impulses like SCS, an intrathecal pain pump delivers doses of strong painkilling medication like morphine.
These treatments are options for patients who have long-term chronic pain that isn’t improving using less invasive approaches. If this applies to you, call Interventional Spine and Pain Center today, or book an appointment online.