If you live with chronic pain, you understand just how disruptive the condition can be to your everyday routines. Many residents of Birmingham, Alabama, find relief through spinal cord stimulation, one of many treatment options available from the team at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine. When you’re ready to learn more, call or click to schedule a visit.
All pain sensations occur due to communication between the nerves throughout your body and your brain. Pain plays a critical role in human survival, letting you know when something is wrong and allowing you to alter your behavior or environment to reduce the risk of harm.
In some, however, this signaling system malfunctions, and pain signals occur even when there is no clear cause. This chronic pain can make it hard to get through normal daily routines and often lead to mental health challenges like depression.
Spinal cord stimulation delivers carefully controlled electricity to disrupt the pain signals that travel between the body and the brain. The treatment relies on an implanted device and an external handheld controller that allows you to customize your level of pain relief.
This relatively new treatment works by interrupting the pain signals that cause chronic pain. During a surgical procedure, a stimulating electrode is positioned in the space behind your spinal cord. That wire extends under your skin to an incision near your waist, where it connects to a small generator powered by a battery.
You control the system using a remote control. When you experience pain, you simply activate the spinal cord stimulator until you achieve relief.
Spinal cord stimulation requires a surgical procedure to place the system, as well as an eventual procedure to replace it with another unit. While this approach is a great fit for many people, it doesn’t fit the needs of everyone.
A trial stage allows you and your practitioner to decide if spinal cord stimulation fits your treatment needs best. The trial system uses temporary electrodes placed using a needle. The other end of these electrodes exits your body and connects to an external generator.
You use the system for a few days to see if the system relieves your pain by at least 50 percent. If you decide to proceed with treatment, you return to have the full spinal cord stimulator system placed.
Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine practitioners place and remove spinal cord stimulators and also replace batteries as needed. Team members are trained to work with systems from Abbott Laboratories®, Boston Scientific®, Nevro®, and Medtronic®.
If you have additional questions or concerns about spinal cord stimulation, booking a visit takes just moments whether you choose to connect with Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine online or by phone.