Chronic pain can begin for any number of reasons. Being able to ease your pain is essential for a better quality of life. Continue reading to learn more about spinal cord stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation has been an option to treat chronic neck, back, arm or leg pain for decades. Previously only an option for patients who had already tried surgery without relief, spinal cord stimulation can now be an option even as initial surgical treatment. It can treat most types of pain from various causes, but it historically is used for neuropathic pain.
Spinal cord stimulation is only performed after patients have tried conservative options like medications, exercise, therapy and even injections in some cases.
The spinal cord stimulator seems to work by what is called the “gate control theory” of pain. Newer research suggests the electrical field created also activates nerves which improves pain. Regardless of the mechanism, the spinal cord stimulator essentially blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain, so the pain is perceived as less intense. Spinal cord stimulation usually does not completely resolve pain, but more often makes it tolerable.