Chronic neck and back pain isn't uncommon but can genuinely affect every aspect of your life. If you're living with chronic pain, you may have lost hope that you'll ever find an effective treatment — until now.
If you're suffering from neck or back pain or nerve-related pain in your extremities, a spinal cord stimulator can help. This treatment is a great option when other therapies haven't worked.
At Kellogg Brain and Spine, Dr. Jordi Kellogg and his team offer cutting-edge treatments for chronic pain, including spinal cord stimulation. After evaluating your symptoms and reviewing imaging studies, Dr. Kellogg determines if your pain can be relieved through spinal cord stimulation.
What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator is an implanted device that helps disguise chronic pain. The stimulator delivers slight electrical stimulation to your spine to replace pain sensations with light tingling.
Several parts of a spinal cord stimulator include the battery, pulse generator, and electrodes. Dr. Kellogg places the electrodes in your epidural space, the area between your spinal cord and vertebrae.
He then places the pulse generator right underneath the skin, usually in your abdomen or buttocks. Dr. Kellogg attaches the electrodes to the pulse generator during a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Once the spinal cord stimulator is in place, you can turn it on with a remote when you feel pain. When the stimulator is on, you'll feel slightly tingling in your legs, arms, back, or neck. This tingling sensation is called paresthesia and changes how your brain perceives painful stimuli.
However, if you don't find the paresthesia comfortable, other spinal cord stimulators offer stimulation that you can't feel but which still relieves your chronic pain.
Types of pain a spinal cord stimulator helps
Spinal cord stimulators are a versatile treatment for many types of pain, including chronic pain. Dr. Kellogg may recommend a spinal cord stimulator if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- Post-surgical pain
- Back pain after surgery
- Spinal cord injuries
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome
When you have chronic pain that hasn't been relieved through other conservative measures, Dr. Kellogg discusses your options regarding spinal cord stimulation. He may also suggest a spinal cord stimulator after surgery on your back or neck without relief from your pain.
Is a spinal cord stimulator good for chronic pain?
Spinal cord stimulation is a cutting-edge treatment that's helped many people overcome chronic pain. It's a minimally invasive surgical procedure that provides pain relief when nothing else has worked.
If you have chronic pain, a spinal cord stimulator offers you the chance to have permanent relief from your discomfort. The pulse generator lasts many years, especially if it's rechargeable. You can have years of pain relief with one surgical procedure.
And not to worry — if the pulse generator stops working, Dr. Kellogg can do so in a short procedure to switch it out to a new battery.
There's a slight risk that you'll become accustomed to paresthesia, making it less effective over time. However, Dr. Kellogg often recommends exercise, over-the-counter medications, and other lifestyle changes to work with your spinal cord stimulator in easing your pain.
But suppose you've tried other conservative treatments without significant relief. In that case, a spinal cord stimulator is a great option that can give you long-term relief from various chronic conditions.
To learn more about how spinal cord stimulation can help you, don't hesitate to call one of our offices in Oregon today, or request an appointment with Dr. Kellogg on our website.