An Ultimate Guide to Understanding Spinal Cord Stimulation

The first step to understanding Spinal Cord Stimulation is to know what it does. Essentially, in Woodlands, TX, doctors will attach two wires to the inside of your upper thigh. One wire connects to a pulse generator that sends electrical pulses through the other wire into your spinal cord. When these electrical impulses are applied, they interrupt pain signals. The process works by blocking nerve fibers, so there’s no transmission of sensation between them and consequently lessening the pain on the target parts. Therefore, consider booking an appointment with a specialist in spinal cord stimulation in The Woodlands, Texas.

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal cord stimulation is an FDA-approved surgical procedure that uses electrical signals to interrupt pain messages traveling from nerves to your brain. It’s often the last resort for those with debilitating chronic pain stemming from spinal nerve damage or other disorders such as failed back syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

The process usually involves implanting electrodes along the spine and connecting them to an implantable pulse generator under the skin in front of your chest or abdomen. These devices can either be turned on manually through a remote control device or controlled automatically by physical contact sensors built into the patient’s SCS work for chronic pain management and other conditions.

Who is a Candidate for SCS Therapy?

Any patient who has dealt with chronic pain through medication, physical therapy, and other measures without success is a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. The treatment shouldn’t be an option if you have active cancer or infections. You must also show no increased risk of infection near the implant site or around the generator area.

Other than that, just about anyone can be a candidate for SCS. While this procedure does require surgery, the operation is relatively simple and performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. It generally takes less than two hours to complete, and you’ll likely go home right after the operation with only minimal discomfort.

Side Effects of SCS Therapy

You may experience some temporary side effects when having SCS treatment. The most common side effects are:

  • Headaches.
  • Skin irritation where the generator is located.
  • Local nerve pain in your lower back or leg.

You might also feel tingling or tightness in the area where the pulse generator was inserted into your body to reduce chronic pain.

What’s the Difference Between SCS with Spinal Cord Stimulator and Spinal Pump?

One of the main differences is that an implantable pulse generator delivers electrical impulses to your spine in the case of SCS. In contrast, a catheter-based system is used for a spinal pump. In addition, a catheter can be used to deliver medications according to your doctor’s instructions.

Both spinal cord stimulation and a catheter-based system can help treat chronic pain that doesn’t respond to medication, physical therapy, or other treatment options. It offers patients who are sick of living with untreated pain an alternative solution.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist in spinal cord stimulation. The procedure is helping many by reducing their symptoms and increasing their quality of life.

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