Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a treatment for chronic pain and other conditions. It involves using a battery-powered device to deliver electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Spinal cord stimulation The Woodlands involves implanting an electrode array into the lower back through a small incision.
During the surgery, doctors attach the pulse generator to your spine at one end and insert one or more leads (pads) into contact with the spinal cord on both sides of your spine. These leads attach to electrodes inside your body, which send electrical energy down to nerves in your spinal cord. The pulses are used to block pain signals from reaching the brain and help people with chronic pain conditions such as:
Spinal stenosis (a narrowing in the spinal canal)
When you have this condition, there is not enough room for nerves in your spine to function normally. They become compressed or squeezed together by bone spurs or other problems like arthritis or inflammation. That compression can cause nerve signals to get through to your brain, causing pain. The pulse generator allows surgeons to stimulate nerves that have been compressed, which helps to get rid of the pain signals and restore normal nerve function.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) is a condition that causes painful muscle spasms, primarily in the arms and legs. These spasms are triggered by stress, trauma, or other physical activities and can be challenging to control with traditional treatments.
SCS can help stop RSD by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain and causing muscle contractions. That helps relieve muscle spasms and reduce inflammation in the body.
Complex regional pain syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome, also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), is a condition that causes severe burning, itching, and tingling sensations throughout the body. It can disrupt sleep patterns, cause anxiety attacks and make it difficult for people to concentrate on daily tasks.
SCS may be used to treat complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) – another form of RSD – which causes severe pain without any apparent trigger. It is a type of chronic pain that develops after an injury or illness. The condition can be excruciating, even if you do not feel any other symptoms, such as bruising or a fever.
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
With SCS, you will receive an intermittent electrical current through your brain using two electrodes implanted in your skull or head area. That helps block pain signals from reaching your brain by interrupting them before they reach their destination in the brain stem – where they would otherwise cause intense localized pain called burning pains.
Neuropathic pain is numbness or tingling in parts of the body caused by nerve damage. It can be caused by various conditions such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, or stroke, but it affects people of all ages and can be very painful. SCS is a treatment option for neuropathic pain that allows you to live your life more comfortably while reducing obsessive thoughts about your condition.
Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment option for people with chronic pain that does not respond to other therapies. If you have pain that will not go away, you may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. Call or message William L Yancey, MD, for more information about spinal cord stimulation.