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Spinal Cord Stimulator

Pain, Spine, & Rehab Associates

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine Specialists located in Gaithersburg, MD

Chronic pain not only affects your physical health but can also impact your emotional and mental health as well. The pain management experts at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland, offer many options to help you get relief from your chronic pain, including trials for a spinal cord stimulator (SCS). To learn more about spinal cord stimulators and if it’s an option for you, schedule a consultation online or by phone today.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Q & A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a small device that alters your pain signals to help reduce your discomfort. The device, which is surgically implanted under your skin, sends mild electrical impulses along the nerves responsible for your pain, which modifies and/or masks the signal from reaching your brain. 

In addition to relieving your pain, the spinal cord stimulator may also reduce your reliance on pain medications, including opioids. 

Am I a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator?

The team at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates determines if you’re a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator during an evaluation. While the spinal cord stimulator is an effective pain management option, it’s not the first recommended treatment for chronic pain.

To be considered a good candidate the following must apply:

  • You’ve failed to get pain relief using conservative measures
  • You’re not a good candidate for surgery or have persistent pain following surgery
  • You’re not suffering from untreated psychiatric conditions such as depression or opioid addiction
  • You don’t have any underlying medical conditions that would disqualify you

Before undergoing the surgical implantation, you must first go through a spinal cord stimulator trial, which is available at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates.

What can I expect during a spinal cord stimulator trial?

During a spinal cord stimulator trial, the team places a wire used to send electrical signals into the epidural space of the spinal canal. They can conduct this procedure at the office under local anesthesia using x-ray guidance, or at the surgery center under conscious sedation.

The team then attaches the wire to the external spinal cord stimulator device, which you wear on your waist. You’re provided with specific instructions on how to take care of the wire and use the external device before you’re sent home.

During your trial period, which may last up to a week, the team asks that you track your pain to see if the device alleviates it. 

What happens after my trial?

After you’ve completed your spinal cord stimulator trial, the team at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates reviews your results and determine if you should continue with permanent placement. If you decide to go forward with the placement of a spinal cord stimulator, the team refers you to a surgeon who can perform the procedure. 

After placement, the team monitors your progress and adjusts your oral medication as needed.

The spinal cord stimulator may provide you with the pain relief you need so you can decrease your reliance on pain medication. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Pain, Spine & Rehab Associates online or by phone today.