Neurostimulation or otherwise known as Spinal Cord Stimulation, is a therapy that masks pain signals before they reach the brain. A small device, similar to a pacemaker, is implanted in the body to deliver electrical pulses to the spinal cord. It helps patients better manage their chronic pain symptoms and decrease the use of opioid medications. It may be an option if you suffer chronic back, leg or arm pain and have not found relief with other Therapies.
Some SCS devices use a low-frequency current to replace the pain sensation with a mild tingling feeling called paresthesias. Other SCS devices use high-frequency or burst pulses to mask the pain with not tingling feeling. A paresthesia-free setting is an option on most devices. Stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain. It simply changes the way the brain perceives it. As a result, the amount of pain relief varies for each person. If unsuccessful, the implant can be removed and does not damage the spinal cord or nerves.
Living with a Spinal Cord Stimulator:
A hand held remote control that turns the device on and off and adjusts the settings. Systems with non-rechargeable battery need to be surgically replaced every 2 to 5 years depending on the frequency of use. Rechargeable battery systems may last 8 to 10 years but the patient must charge the system daily.
The pulse generator has programmable settings. Some SCS devices are able to sense a change in body position (sitting vs. lying down) and adapt the stimulation level to your activity. Other systems have leads that can be independently programmed to cover multiple pain area. Dr. Nasser will select the best type of system for you.