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Which Conditions Can Be Helped by Spinal Cord Stimulation?

October 01, 2021 | Spinal Cord Stimulation

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Pain is normal — healthy, even. But when it becomes severe or doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, it’s time to start searching for a more direct approach.Unfortunately, wading through the available treatments to find the one that works for you can be overwhelming and often just as frustrating as your pain.Dr. Neel Amin is here to take the guesswork out of pain management by diving deeper into one of the industry’s leading pain management treatments, spinal cord stimulation. Here’s a look at what it is, the conditions it can treat, and its benefits.

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulators are small, pacemaker-like battery packs connected to thin wires. Dr. Neel Amin surgically implants the wires in the epidural space of your spine (the space between your spinal cord and vertebrae), and the generator just below your skin, usually near the buttocks or abdomen.

You use the stimulator’s remote control to send electrical pulses that replace your pain with a light tingling sensation known as paresthesia. For additional comfort, the effect of some simulators can’t be felt at all.

Though it’s still not fully understood exactly how spinal cord stimulation works, experts believe that the electrical pulses can target muscle groups directly from your spine and regulate your brain’s pain receptors.

What can spinal cord stimulation treat?

Spinal cord stimulation is a versatile, minimally invasive treatment that can address a wide range of painful conditions. Here are some of the most common sources of pain Dr. Neel Amin uses spinal cord stimulation to treat.

Back and neck pain

Nearly 8 out of 10 people have back pain and an additional 15% have neck pain, making them among the most common sources of chronic pain. Back and neck pain stem from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Muscle spasms

These and many other injuries and diseases can cause back and neck pain, and, often, the pain radiates to other areas of your body.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is damage to your peripheral nerves (the nerves that extend from your central nervous system). There are many injuries, infections, and diseases that can lead to peripheral neuropathy, but diabetes is the leading cause, affecting nearly 60-70% of diabetics.

Failed back surgery pain

Back surgery is successful for many, but not all. An estimated 20-40% of patients who have back surgery still have pain after their procedure — sometimes new or worsening pain. This type of pain typically stems from post-surgical complications, new degeneration or disease, and unresolved problems.

Phantom limb pain

It’s not uncommon to continue to feel phantom pain from a body part that is no longer there. Previously, doctors thought this to be a psychological phenomenon, but now we know that these sensations are real and that they originate in your spinal cord.

Following an amputation, your spinal cord and brain lose input from the missing limb. They adjust by telling you that something is wrong. Unfortunately, the simplest way for your body to do that is to trigger pain signals.

What are the benefits of spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation isn’t just a versatile treatment. This procedure provides a wide range of other benefits, including:

  • Adjustable pain relief
  • Reduced opioid use
  • Targeted pain relief
  • Limited or no side effects
  • Cost-effective pain relief

Bonus: Spinal cord stimulation is reversible. If you no longer need this therapy, we easily remove the wires and generators.

If you’d like to see if you’re a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, you can request an appointment online or over the phone at our East Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office today.