So you’ve been dealing with chronic back pain, and conventional methods haven’t yet worked for you – maybe you’ve even heard the term “spinal cord stimulation” thrown around.
But how do you know when it’s time for you to take that step?
Typically your doctor will make this recommendation after an extensive treatment plan has already been tested. But you may still have questions – here, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked.
What is a spinal cord stimulator?
First, let’s talk about what this treatment is. Spinal Cord Stimulation (scs) is a minimally invasive spine surgery that can help patients find relief from chronic nerve pain when they’ve exhausted conventional efforts.
It is not a one-size-fits-all cure for chronic back pain, but can help with long term pain management for some patients.
What does the treatment look like?
Implanting the spinal cord stimulator is a minimally invasive surgery that can help limit back and spine pain via mild electrical pulses. It consists of a testing period first, using leads in the lumbar spine to see if it effectively limits your pain.
From there, if the patient feels a reduction in their pain, a pulse generator implant is inserted typically in the lower abdominal area – this is how the patient controls the pulses.
Can you get rid of back pain without spinal cord stimulation?
SCS systems are not the only method of relieving back pain – nor should it be the first avenue considered. This kind of surgery is typically only recommended when conventional treatment options have been ruled out.
Your doctor will likely want to test treatment options like physical therapy, trigger point injections, and pain medication first.
All of this to say – if you have tried more conservative treatments for your chronic pain, and have felt little to no relief, then it may be time to consider the spinal cord stimulation route.