Spinal cord stimulator Trail and FAQs : The nerves are responsible for transferring pain signals throughout your body to your brain. When you get injured, the nerves will carry the pain signal and send it to the brain. You begin to feel the pain when the pain signal gets to your brain.
Spinal cord stimulation is a procedure used to mask or change pain signals before they get to your brain so that you don’t feel pain.
Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a small device called a stimulator in your spinal cord. The stimulator delivers electrical impulses and uses a low-frequency current to replace the pain signals. Instead of feeling excruciating pain, it makes the pain feel like a mild tingling soothing feeling. The low-frequency current interferes with the pain signals and changes the way the brain perceives the pain signals.
Spinal cord stimulation doesn’t eliminate the source of the pain, but it changes the pain signals and makes the brain interpret the signal as a soothing feeling.
Patients with chronic back pain, leg or arm pain can benefit from spinal cord stimulation. Spinal cord stimulation prevents the long-term use of pain medications such as opioids and pills.
Spinal cord stimulator trial
Trial stimulation is usually first performed to determine if a patient will experience pain relief before the stimulator is permanently implanted.
Trial stimulation is necessary because not everyone will experience pain relief from spinal cord stimulation. Some patients may experience pain relief, some may not while some may even find the sensation very unpleasant.
If the trial stimulation is successful and the patient experiences pain relief, the stimulator will be permanently implanted. If the patient doesn’t experience any pain relief, the procedure will be discontinued. An appropriate alternative treatment will be suggested by the doctor.
During a spinal cord stimulator trial, you will first be given a local anesthetic to numb the skin to make you comfortable. A small incision will be on the skin where the stimulator will be placed. Using X-ray guidance, your doctor will place the stimulator in the right position. Electrical current will be transmitted to the stimulator using an external device.
If you experience pain relief as much as 50%, it means the procedure works. A stimulator will be placed permanently. If you don’t experience any pain relief or if you find the sensation very unpleasant, it means the procedure didn’t work well. The stimulator will be removed and the procedure discontinued.
What is the success rate spinal cord stimulators?
The success of spinal cord stimulation depends on the success of the trial stimulation. Spinal cord stimulation is considered successful if you experience pain relief up to 50% or more.
Most people with chronic pain have experienced 50-80% pain relief after undergoing spinal cord stimulation. Many patients were able to return to their daily activities and stop the use of medications after undergoing spinal cord stimulation.
Will a spinal cord stimulator qualify you for disability?
A spinal cord stimulator may qualify you for disability if you are still experiencing negative side effects from your pain or it’s affecting your ability to continue your work even after implanting the spinal cord stimulator.
Can spinal cord stimulator cause weight loss?
Research shows that spinal cord stimulator is associated with a reduction of appetite in some patients. Some patients with spinal cord stimulators are able to reduce their food intake, causing them to lose about 9kg in the first 4 months of implanting a spinal cord stimulator.
How long has spinal cord stimulation been around?
Spinal cord stimulation was first used to treat pain in 1967. About 34,000 patients undergo spinal cord stimulation each year, making it a widely accepted treatment for chronic pain.
Can you drive with a spinal cord stimulator?
Though you may be able to drive with a spinal cord stimulator, it is generally not recommended when your spinal cord stimulator is on. This is because the electrical impulses from the stimulator can be distracting when driving.
What kind of pain does a spinal cord stimulator help?
Spinal cord stimulation may be used to relieve many different types of chronic pain. Patients with chronic pain including low back pain syndrome, radicular pain syndrome, post-laminectomy pain, and pain from failed surgery may benefit from spinal cord stimulator.
How much does it cost to have a spinal cord stimulator?
The average cost of spinal cord stimulation ranges between $33,000 and $58,000.
Does insurance cover spinal cord stimulator?
Spinal cord stimulation is covered by most health insurance companies.