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When to Consider Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Back and Leg Pain

Back pain is a common problem for many people these days, no matter what their ages. It can make you miss out on the things you enjoy, and sometimes can affect your legs as well. There are many treatment options available, but they don’t always solve the problem. When you’re in need of pain relief and nothing else has worked, spinal cord stimulation may be for you.

At Kellogg Brain and Spine, our focus is to help you resolve your pain through a number of different treatment options. Heading our amazing team is Dr. Jordi Kellogg, our board-certified neurosurgeon. He helps you to determine not only what’s causing your back and leg pain, but also if spinal cord stimulation is a good treatment option for you.

Causes of back and leg pain

Back pain can be a chronic condition that can lead to other problems, like pain in one or both of your legs. So what causes you to suffer such pain and discomfort? Many conditions can lead to back pain, including injuries from falls or car accidents. 

Another cause of back pain is neuropathy. Neuropathic pain can be from a number of disorders, like diabetes or peripheral vascular disease. These can lead to chronic pain that’s not easily relieved by other treatment methods.

Pain sometimes doesn’t get better with traditional back surgeries, like a spinal fusion. In this case, Dr. Kellogg may recommend spinal cord stimulation to help decrease the pain related to your previous back surgery.

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a type of treatment that helps relieve chronic pain with the use of electrical impulses. These electrical impulses interrupt the pain signals being sent from your back or legs to your brain. 

The spinal cord stimulator consists of tiny wires, known as electrodes, that connect to a pulse generator that’s placed under your skin. You control the stimulator with a remote that you carry with you.

The electrodes are placed into your epidural space in your spine — the area between your vertebrae and your spinal cord. The electrodes are also connected to the pulse generator that sits under your skin.

At our facility, Dr. Kellogg uses the Nevro spinal cord stimulator, known as the Senza® Omnia™ system. This system provides amazing pain relief through their signature HF10® therapy. This spinal cord stimulator system offers superior treatment for you back pain, with as little interruption to your life as possible.

Are you a good candidate?

Spinal cord stimulation is often used as a treatment after other less-invasive treatment options have failed. A spinal cord stimulator is also sometimes used to control pain that spinal surgery has not been able to control. 

Other issues that a spinal cord stimulator can help treat include:

Before you undergo spinal cord stimulator surgery, Dr. Kellogg goes over your history and treatments that you’ve tried in the past. If he determines that your condition may benefit from spinal cord stimulation, he’ll schedule you for the trial run.

During the trial, Dr. Kellogg implants electrodes into your epidural space and connects them to a temporary battery outside of your body. You’ll wear the trial stimulator for a few days to a week to make sure your pain gets better with the device.

If your pain is at least 50% better after the trial, Dr. Kellogg proceeds with the permanent implantation of the device. He inserts the electrodes into your spinal canal where your pain is originating. Once they’re secured in place, he connects them to the pulse generator under your skin.

You’ll be able to feel the effects of the stimulation right away, however it may take a week or so for you to heal from the procedure. However, after your incisions heal, you should experience significant pain relief in your back and legs.

If you wonder if spinal cord stimulation could be the ticket to resolving your back and leg pain, call one of our offices in Portland or Wilsonville, Oregon, to schedule an appointment. You can also book a consultation using our handy online booking tool.

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