What is spinal cord stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment that involves an implanted device consisting of a battery-like generator and two electrode wires. During an implantation surgery, a surgeon places the electrodes into the fatty, protective epidural space around your spinal cord.
The generator does not get as close to your spine. Instead, your surgeon implants it beneath the skin on your abdomen or buttocks. You also get a remote control with the system, which you can use to control the generator. Any time you feel pain, you can use the remote control to send electrical impulses through the electrodes.
The main purpose of spinal cord stimulation is to stop painful nerve impulses from reaching your brain when the pain has no apparent cause. It’s important to recognize that your body normally feels pain for a reason, which is to tell you that something’s wrong. Spinal cord stimulation lets you live comfortably despite having pain signals from a nonexistent or healed injury.
What can spinal cord stimulation treat?
The experts at Florida Pain Management Institute recommend spinal cord stimulation to relieve pain that has not responded to or stopped after noninvasive treatments and therapies. With your stimulator, you can manage:
- Pain after surgery
- Back pain
- Angina (heart pain)
- Complex regional pain syndrome
These types of pain, treatable with spinal cord stimulation, can have a large impact on your life. You might have reduced energy, trouble sleeping, or depression related to your chronic pain, especially if you’ve tried to manage it without success.
In combination with spinal cord stimulation, the Florida Pain Management Institute team recommends other treatments like medication management and physical therapy. They also teach you to use your stimulator effectively when you need to.
What is it like to live with a spinal cord stimulator?
There are a few things to keep in mind while living with a spinal cord stimulator, though it won’t affect your day-to-day life very much. The team at Florida Pain Management Institute teaches you to use your remote control, and you’ll have a trial period before you get your permanent device.
While living with a spinal cord stimulator, you should:
- Mention the device to all medical professionals you visit
- Show your provided identification card while going through security checkpoints
- Power off your stimulator before driving
- Power off your stimulator before operating other heavy machinery
- Avoid getting your temporary stimulator wet during the trial period
- Report any malfunctions right away
Your provider tells you about the charge on your stimulator and whether you have a rechargeable battery or one that needs regular replacement. Either way, your generator will eventually require a new battery.
Schedule your consultation for pain management with spinal cord stimulation over the phone or online at Florida Pain Management Institute today.