How to Know If You Are a Good Candidate For Spinal Cord Stimulators

Spinal Cord Stimulators

The numbers surrounding chronic back pain are nothing short of eye-opening — 20% of people who experience acute back pain go on to have chronic problems with pain. Now consider that 80% of the adult population in the United States experiences low back pain at some point in their lives, and you begin to see that we’re talking about millions of people who are grappling with the problem.

While these numbers may not help your particular situation, they do prompt researchers and health care providers to find better solutions for back pain, and one such solution may be found in spinal cord stimulators.

At Premier Spine and Pain Management, our team of spine experts, headed up by Drs. Arun Kandra and Vivek Das, has extensive experience when it comes to back pain. To ensure that our New Jersey and Pennsylvania patients get the relief they need, we offer a host of effective interventional pain management treatments, including spinal cord stimulators.

Take a moment to explore whether you’re a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.

The end of your ropes

As spine experts, we’ll be the first to tell you that back pain is an extraordinarily difficult condition to pin down and treat, for many reasons. To start, your back is an incredibly complex area that provides support for your body, as well as passage for your nervous system. This means that when a problem arises along your spine, there are nerve roots in the area that are in the line of fire. And they respond by firing back.

On top of this, with your spine as the main conduit for your nervous system and the base of your support, we’re understandably extremely cautious when we treat any injury in this area, trying to find the least invasive solution possible.

If you’ve tried all of the minimally invasive options, such as epidural injections, physical therapy, or nerve block therapies, to no avail, you may choose to undergo surgery to find much-needed relief.

Unfortunately, only slightly more than 50% of back surgeries are successful in completely resolving back pain. And if you opt for a second, your chances of success drop to 30%, and then 15% and 5% for your third and fourth tries.

All of these attempts are grouped under a condition we call “failed back surgery syndrome,” which means the surgery may have resolved the underlying condition, but not the pain if your nerve root doesn’t heal properly or scar tissue forms that further irritates your nerves.

Trial and success

If you find yourself in this situation, rest assured that we’re going to do everything in our power to help you find relief from back pain that’s keeping you from enjoying your life. One solution where we’ve found great success is through a spinal cord stimulator. Using this neuromodulation technique, we implant a device that emits electrical signals that interfere with the messaging between your nerves and your brain.

To see whether you may benefit from this treatment, we first run you through a trial period in which we insert wires into the area where we think your nerves are acting up and equip you with an external transmitter that you can control.

During this trial period, you adjust the settings to where you find relief, which guides us when we set you up with a more permanent stimulator system.

If you experience relief from your back pain, you return to have us implant electrodes and a  generator, which we generally place in your abdomen, upper buttocks, or in your upper chest. With this system, you can experience long-term relief from your chronic back pain.

If you’d like to explore whether you’re a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, please don’t hesitate to call one of our offices in Easton, Pennsylvania, and Somerset, Hillsborough, Succasunna, and Middletown, New Jersey. Or you can use the online scheduling tool to request a consultation.

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