Spinal Cord Stimulation in Chicago
When someone has chronic pain, the goal is to treat it at the source, resolving the underlying issue bringing on these uncomfortable symptoms. The problem? Sometimes, the source is unclear or cannot be corrected. When this happens, doctors have to refocus their approach from addressing the underlying causes of pain to treating the pain itself.
Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a form of therapy that can help the nerve fibers stop sending pain signals to the brain. It centers on a spinal cord stimulator implant (also known as a spinal cord stimulator or pain pacemaker). This implant sends mild electrical pulses to the nerve fibers, stimulating them and preventing them from fully communicating pain signals to the brain.
This stimulation doesn’t actually stop pain from occurring, but by interrupting the communication process, it alters how the brain perceives it. For most people, use of an SCS device can reduce their pain by 50-70%. Just keep in mind that if your pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as muscle weakness, SCS therapy will not improve these.
SCS Treatment Systems
There are many different SCS device systems. While they have their advantages and disadvantages, all should have three central parts in common:
Some have rechargeable batteries while others do not. Some strictly rely on patient control while others adjust based on things like position and activity level. All should have programmable settings that you can rely on for treatment.
Ideal Candidates for SCS Treatment
Not everyone is suited to SCS therapy. In general, you should follow your doctor’s guidance when deciding on getting an SCS device. However, ideal candidates generally meet the following qualifications:
Keep in mind that SCS therapy is best on those in the early stages of chronic pain. However, it might work even for someone who has spent years battling their pain disorder.