Spinal Cord Stimulation

A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a device surgically placed under the skin. It sends a mild electric current through your spinal cord to help manage chronic pain. A wire carries this current from the “pulse generator” at the core of the device to the nerves in the spine. This electricity manages pain by interrupting the nerves sending signals to your brain that are causing discomfort.

Pain relief with SCS varies from person to person. Some people may find the tingling unpleasant, while others may believe the electrical current is not strong enough. Candidates for SCS can perform a trial period before receiving a permanent implant. Most people who take SCS have pain so intense that they can not perform their daily tasks. Although spinal cord stimulation may produce a 50-70% reduction in pain, many patients find it to be a satisfying solution. If the implant does not bring desired results, surgeons can remove the stimulator without damaging the surrounding nerves and spinal cord.

Who Can Use a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A doctor will undergo a thorough evaluation of your history with pain before considering you as a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Due to the psychological effects associated with pain, you may need to take a mental health exam to determine the potential success of SCS. Candidates for SCS must meet the following criteria:

  • No serious dependency on pain medication or other drugs.
  • No success with conservative therapies like exercise or diet.
  • A verified source of pain.
  • No serious psychiatric conditions that may be contributing to your pain.
  • Success with a SCS trial period.

A spinal cord stimulator is often used to help treat the following conditions:

  • Arachnoiditis: When the protective layers of the spinal cord experience painful scarring or inflammation.
  • Sciatica or Arm Pain: Persistent pain caused by spinal stenosis, arthritis, or other degenerative condition.
  • Failed Back Surgery: When surgeries are unable to control sciatica.
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): A disease in which pain progresses from the foot or the hand and then moves inward into the body.
  • Other conditions can be viable, depending on the circumstances.

Where Can You Get a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A pain clinic that can diagnose the cause of your pain and evaluate your history is your best source for treatment. Garden State Pain Center is a New Jersey pain clinic with several locations available for patients. Contact us today for an appointment and start walking on the path towards relief.