Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) involves your provider implanting a neurostimulator device that delivers electrical pulses via a tiny wire to the nerves in the thoracic (upper back) area of your spinal cord.
Spinal cord stimulation inhibits pain signals before they reach your brain. Instead, you feel a tingling sensation called paraesthesia.
As a treatment for chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation can work in combination with other approaches or be an effective alternative when other options aren't relieving your pain. You control the degree of pain relief using a remote device.
Technological advances in neurostimulation mean there are now spinal cord stimulation devices that can adapt to your physical activity, delivering personalized stimulation rhythms. There are also MRI compatible devices available that make it safe for you to undergo MRI scans following implantation of the SCS device.
The Goodlife Physical Medicine team uses spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic, treatment-resistant pain in your back, arms, or legs. Some of the conditions for which spinal cord stimulation is most helpful include:
Spinal cord stimulation is most successful in treating nerve dysfunction conditions, including neuropathy and pinched nerves.
The pain experts at Goodlife Physical Medicine follow a two-stage implantation protocol:
A screening test is an opportunity for you to assess the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation without committing long-term. During your screening test, you have a temporary, external spinal cord stimulation system that you trial for up to seven days.
The spinal cord stimulation screening test gives you a chance to see if the device’s effects cover the entire area affected by chronic pain and if you experience a noticeable relief of your symptoms.
You can also see how you feel about the tingling sensation the stimulation causes. You might find that as the spinal cord stimulator takes effect, you also experience improved function.
The implant procedure at Goodlife Physical Medicine involves a short, minor outpatient surgery. Your provider inserts the spinal cord stimulator under your skin through a small incision in your buttock, along with a lead that goes in the epidural space near your spinal cord.
Spinal cord stimulation is minimally invasive and fully reversible.
Find out more about spinal cord stimulation and if it’s right for you by calling Goodlife Physical Medicine or book an appointment online today.