Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a promising interventional pain management technique used in the treatment of chronic pain. Basically, SCS emits a mild current that confuses transmission and perception of pain by the brain.
Nerve impulses that previously would transmit pain signals to the brain are interrupted and replaced with a pleasant tingling sensation. The goal of SCS is to help the patient regain a quality of life that was taken from them by chronic pain.
Spinal cord stimulation may be considered when other nonoperative or surgical treatments fail to alleviate pain. It is often used to manage low back pain, persistent extremity nerve pain, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic abdominal or pelvic pain and certain types of headaches.
The process involves a test phase to determine if the SCS will sufficiently ease the pain of a patient. Electronic leads, similar to slim catheters, are temporarily implanted through the skin similar under light sedation. The lead(s) are passed into the pain-corresponding region of the spine’s epidural space.
The patient is awake throughout the procedure. We will ask you when a tingling sensation is felt in the appropriate area. We will leave the lead in place for 5 to 7 days while you resume normal daily activities. During your follow-up visit to our office, the leads are painlessly removed. During this visit, it is simply pulled out without the need for any procedure or surgery.
If your spinal cord stimulation trial period successfully managed your pain, our Coastal Back and Pain Institute Specialist physician will help you decide if implantation of the device is right for you.