Advancements in Spinal Cord Stimulators Reduce Chronic Back Pain

Posted on: 03/11/2016

Chronic back pain can be debilitating. The tiniest movements become the biggest challenges, and normal daily activities can feel uncomfortable. Luckily, through the years, many new solutions to combat chronic back pain have been discovered. One of those treatments is spinal cord stimulation.

Spinal cord stimulation, approved by the FDA in 1989, has become a treatment option for patients with chronic pain who have not found relief from other treatments. While it is not considered a cure for pain, the neurostimulation treatment helps people return to a more normal lifestyle by significantly reducing their chronic pain to a more manageable level.

So how does it work?

Spinal cord stimulators are battery-powered electronic devices enclosed in a small metal container that are surgically implanted under the skin in the lower-back area. They are the same size as a pacemaker battery, and send low levels of electrical energy to nerve fibers to treat pain at its source. This blocks the brain’s ability to sense the previously perceived pain.

Sources of chronic pain that spinal cord stimulation may be used to treat include persistent lower back pain, leg and arm pain, constant burning pain, inflammation pain, and spinal nerve scarring.

Although spinal cord stimulation has been available for about 30 years, only within the past ten years has the technology been met with widespread recognition in the medical community. It is now a mainstream option to help manage patients’ pain. While not suitable for everyone suffering from back pain, spinal cord stimulation is another tool that pain management physicians can add to their arsenal of treatments in the fight against chronic back pain.

Mayfield Clinic