When your chronic pain fails to respond to conventional medical care, you may find relief from one of today’s most innovative technologies, a spinal cord stimulator. The Pain Institute of Southern Arizona in Tucson, Oro Valley, and Green Valley, Arizona, completes a thorough evaluation to determine if you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, then implant the device for long-term pain relief. You can also visit Regional Pain Institute in Apache Junction, San Tan Valley, and Gilbert, Arizona, a division of the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona. To learn more about spinal cord stimulators, call or schedule an appointment online.
Spinal cord stimulators use mild electrical impulses to block or mask the pain signals transmitted by nerves. When any part of your body is in pain, sensory nerves pick up the message and transmit it to your brain. You only feel the pain after your brain receives and interprets the message.
Spinal cord stimulators effectively reduce your pain by stopping the message from reaching your brain or by masking it so your brain doesn’t understand the message. The source of your pain is still there, but your pain is significantly diminished.
The doctors at the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona may recommend using a spinal cord stimulator to relieve chronic back, neck, arm, or leg pain. In many cases, this type of chronic pain is caused by conditions such as:
You may also be a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator if your pain is caused by peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease.
Spinal cord stimulators consist of three parts: a small generator, a wire with multiple electrodes, and a controller. The generator, which produces the electrical impulses, is implanted under the skin of your abdomen, upper buttocks, or chest.
The long, flexible wire is threaded along your spine. Your doctor uses fluoroscopic imaging to see the wire and place its electrodes near the spinal nerves responsible for sending the pain signals to your brain.
Your doctor uses the remote controller to initially program the strength and frequency of the electrical impulses. Then you’ll use it to turn your spinal cord stimulator on and off.
You’ll have a trial period with the spinal cord stimulator to determine if it works for you. During your trial, your doctor implants the wires, but you’ll wear the generator around your waist.. After about one week of wearing the stimulator, you’ll know if it’s effectively relieving your pain. At that point, you can decide to have the generator implanted and keep the device, or your doctor can easily remove the wires.
If you have ongoing pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatments, call the Pain Institute of Southern Arizona to learn if you’re a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.