Spinal cord stimulation is becoming an increasingly popular alternative method for treating back pain. In this procedure, low-level electrical impulses are delivered to the spinal cord and/or exact nerves in order to block pain signals from being delivered.
How is Spinal Cord Stimulation Performed?
At the Pain, Spine, and Sports Institute, Dr. Ali will first conduct a thorough evaluation of your condition, including your physical condition, any medication plan, and pain history and discuss the best course of treatment for you. Additionally, Dr. Ali will review all previous treatments and surgeries to ensure a customized course of treatment is designed for you. Spinal cord stimulation is generally an option for patients when other forms of treatment have not proven successful. This treatment may also be used when surgery is not likely to improve the condition, or even when prior surgeries have failed. Dr. Ali will determine if the procedure is right for you.
Several methods of spinal cord stimulation are available and used in treatment. At the Pain, Spine, and Sports Institute, Dr. Ali performs non-invasive spinal cord stimulation. In this type of treatment, the patient will wear an external power source. This radiofrequency system activates stimulation and can deliver higher-powered output levels, enabling the treatment of more challenging cases, such as those suffering from mult-extremity pain.
Am I a Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?
While this treatment has been successfully used on many individuals suffering from back pain and other forms of pain associated with the spine, spinal cord stimulation may not work for all patients. The stimulation may be too unpleasant for some or the patient may not experience enough relief for successful treatment. Dr. Ali will observe you during a trial period to ensure you will benefit from this procedure.
If you have experienced any of the following, you may be a candidate for treatment:
- You wish to avoid complex spine surgery due to risk or recovery time.
- The source of pain is correctable and can be treated.
- Conservative treatments have had little or no success.
- You are not a candidate for surgery or have had failed surgeries.
- No medical condition exists preventing you from undergoing SCS.
What are the Results of Spinal Cord Stimulation?
The results of spinal cord stimulation depend on the severity of your condition, your level of health, physical activity, among other factors. SCS does not intend to cure the condition leading to pain, rather it leads to successful pain management and successful outcomes are generally considered to be a reduction of pain by at least half. As this is a non-invasive procedure, there are no risks or general complications. SCS may be used in conjunction with medications as prescribed by Dr. Ali.
Common conditions that have been treated with spinal cord stimulation include, Sciatica or chronic leg or arm pain, spinal cord injuries, inflammation of the spinal nerves, pain from failed back surgeries, and others.
If you would like to schedule a consultation or find out more about spinal cord stimulation, please feel free to reach out to us and we will be more than happy to assist you.