Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can be a life-changing option for people who struggle with long-term spine pain. At Pain Medicine of the South in Knoxville, Tennessee, the team of pain management specialists understands the debilitating nature of pain. They’re here to provide a broad variety of solutions, so you can put the pain in the past. Call the office or click on the online booking link now.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a chronic pain solution using electrical pulses to disrupt pain signals. This involves either preventing the pain from being perceived or triggering a tingling sensation instead of the pain.
Unlike transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units, which use external electrodes affixed to your skin, the spinal cord stimulator goes inside your spine.
A battery-powered pulse generator —a small implant about the size of a 50-cent piece — delivers electrical pulses to a lead wire. It sits under your skin below the waist.
The lead wire routes the electrical pulses to tiny electrodes placed at various pain points in your spinal cord.
You control the SCS with an external remote. The team can calibrate your SCS settings for maximum effectiveness.
Spinal cord stimulation can be an effective option for people with chronic pain (lasting longer than a few months) conditions such as:
Spinal cord stimulation may also help with other causes of long-term pain, particularly those that resist other treatments.
A big part of getting the best results is ensuring SCS is the right treatment for you. To do so, you first have an SCS trial. In this procedure, you wear an SCS system for around a week to see how well it works for you.
In the SCS trial, your surgeon places a lead wire over the nerves that cause your pain. It connects directly to an external pulse generator, which you wear on a belt around your waist. Over the trial period, you track the effects of the SCS to determine its effectiveness.
Doctors generally deem an SCS trial successful if it reduces your pain by half or more, allows you to be more physically active, and helps you need less pain medicine.
After a successful SCS trial, you can proceed with permanent SCS placement. Long-term success rates for SCS can vary, but many studies show that anywhere from 50-80% of patients get long-lasting relief.
To find out how spinal cord stimulation can help you, call Pain Medicine of the South or book your consultation online now.