For some conditions of severe chronic pain, a device is used where a tiny wire placed inside of the spine sends small waves of electricity through the spinal nerves and the spinal cord.
At first, patients get a trial.
This treatment has produced some favorable results when it comes to chronic pain in patients in the area of their limbs and their lower back. The greatest success of this treatment has come from patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain occurs as a result of any type of nervous system injury. It often feels like one is being shocked or burned.
This type of injury often is related to:
At first, patients get a trial a trial. We will first place up to 2 thin soft leads along the spine in the epidural space, which connects to the external generator. The duration of time that this takes is between 30 and 60 minutes. Small pulses will come from the generator which is supposed to bring about a feeling that is more pleasing than the pain of the affected area.
This trial period allows you to control the intensity of stimulation. You can also deactivate it. The duration of the trial period is between 3 and 5 days. This allows you to determine whether or not the device would be effective for treating the pain in your afflicted area. If you are comfortable with the device and it effectively reduces your pain, then you can move forward with the permanent installation of the device.
Stimulating the spinal cord is a solution that is meant for the long term. It has proven itself to be effective in pain reduction for patients so that they can do the tasks that normally hurt them to the extreme. Given the title of “permanent solution”, it is one that could be reversed. How effective this device and procedure is depends on the patient. For this reason, there is a trial period that could help you determine how effective this will be as a treatment.
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville, we provide spinal cord stimulation as a treatment option. Call us today at 434-328-2774 to schedule your appointment!