Chronic pain leaves you exhausted and frustrated as you try all sorts of methods to address it, like medication and surgery. If you’ve tried everything and still live in constant pain, you could benefit from spinal cord stimulation in New Jersey from NJ Pain Care Specialists.
Spinal cord stimulation uses an implanted device to provide the relief you have been trying to reach for years.
According to the CDC, 50 million adults in America suffer from chronic pain. If you have tried conventional pain relief methods with little to no results, spinal cord stimulation may help.
Spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, is a last resort for patients with chronic back, arm, and leg pain. A surgeon implants the spinal cord stimulator in a minimally invasive procedure. For patients with chronic pain, a spinal cord stimulator can provide long-term relief.
Spinal cord stimulation patients experience reduced pain levels without relying on oral pain medication every day. It can help exhausted and frustrated patients finally get a good night’s sleep. Some conditions that can benefit from spinal cord stimulation include:
The spinal cord stimulation device uses a low-voltage electrical current to block pain signals between your spinal cord and your brain. Your surgeon will place electrodes between your vertebrae and place the electrical current generator under your skin in a spot that works for your lifestyle. Once the device is in place, you can use a handheld remote to send the electrical current to the electrodes during a pain spike.
With the pain signals disrupted, you can finally get relief and increase your quality of life.
There is no guaranteed outcome after you receive a spinal cord stimulation device, but the University of California San Francisco sees a 50-70 percent decrease in pain for successful patients.
Because people experience chronic pain differently, there are a few types of spinal cord stimulators to choose from. Your pain specialist can help you decide which is right for your type of pain. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 30,000 patients receive a spinal cord stimulator device every year.
Conventional devices are ideal if you have chronic pain in one area. They emit a lower voltage of electricity and need little-to-no special attention from you after the implantation procedure. They are battery-operated, which means you may need additional surgery in the future to replace the battery.
Rechargeable devices have a battery that you can recharge without undergoing a second surgery. They are ideal for patients who have pain in one or more areas because they use a stronger electrical signal.
To determine if a spinal cord stimulator will give you pain relief, you can undergo a partial implantation for about a one week trial period. Your physician will insert electrodes into the epidural space and connect it to the external spinal cord stimulator battery with medical tape or a belted pouch.
During the trial, you will learn all about how the device works and how to activate it in order to relieve your pain. If the device doesn’t work as you hoped, you can talk with your doctor about trying a different type. The trial spinal cord stimulator leads are removed in the office and the leads and battery pack are discarded.
If you experience significant pain relief during the trial period, you can move forward with the permanent implantation procedure. The trial period is a great way to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure without having to undergo unnecessary surgery.
If you have chronic pain, you may try anything to get some relief. When your pain doesn’t respond to other treatments like epidural steroid injections, and you don’t want to take oral medication every day, spinal cord stimulation could give you the relief you need.
During your consultation, we will help you determine which type of spinal cord stimulator is the best for your needs. If successful, the low-voltage electrical current can help reduce your pain level by at least 50 percent, allowing you to get more rest and return to enjoying your activities.
Fill out our online form or call 732-590-4030 to schedule an appointment with the compassionate team at NJ Pain Care Specialists, serving Oakhurst, Toms River, and New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.
Intractable pain is a chronic pain that does not go away or subside with medical treatment. Spinal cord stimulation has been in use for over 20 years and the technology has substantially evolved over time. In the past, when a stimulator was placed, the patient would feel tingling in the affected part. The new generation of spinal cord stimulators are high-frequency devices that work to eliminate the pain without the numbness or “pins and needles” sensations early patients felt.
This procedure is predominantly for people with intractable arm or leg pain. It does provide some benefit into the back or neck. At NJ Pain Care Specialists, we recommended it most frequently for patients who have undergone neck or back surgery and still have constant pain in their arms or legs. It can also be helpful for patients who have complex regional pain syndrome, crush injuries and phantom pain. It can also be used for patients with spinal stenosis who are not candidates for, or do not want, surgery.
Spinal cord stimulation is different from most other pain management procedures in that the patient gets a trial period to test out the device before deciding on final implantation:
Please feel free to contact us at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your own situation. Dr. Bram and staff will give you the time and attention to properly understand and accurately diagnose your condition, and to recommend the most advanced, non-invasive, effective and efficient treatment to eliminate or relieve your pain.
The procedure can be done with either light or deep anesthesia. Even so, it is a minimally invasive procedure that will likely not require a lengthy hospital stay.
The recovery process can take up to several weeks. During that time, you should limit your physical activity as your body heals from the surgery.
You can fly safely with your device on any setting. However, the device will show up when you go through airport security. In order to avoid conflict when you go through the x-ray machine, make sure to bring documentation of your medical implant with you.
You can work out after a spinal cord stimulation but always talk to your doctor about what exercise regimen is appropriate for your circumstances. Generally speaking, low-impact exercises like walking and swimming are safe. More vigorous activities like running and tennis could cause the electrodes to shift.
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