Should You Consider a Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Back and Neck Pain?

Louis J. Raso, MD, is a leading pain management specialist in Jupiter, Florida, who has seen great success in using spinal co

When back and neck pain become long-term (chronic), you may find even simple tasks difficult to accomplish. Unfortunately, medications, surgery, and other therapies can worsen the initial problem or create troubles of their own. Pain medications can lead to dependence. Surgery may not provide results. 

Your pain may be so significant you can’t engage in rehab designed to address your condition.  

Louis J. Raso, MD, is a leading pain management specialist in Jupiter, Florida, who has seen great success in using spinal cord stimulation to provide his patients relief from chronic neck and back pain. He’s found that results are fast, benefits are long-term, and side effects are minimal to none.  

The basics of spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation uses very mild electrical impulses (neurostimulators) to disrupt or block the pain signals that travel from your back or neck to your brain. Ongoing advances in technology since the initial Food and Drug Administration approval in 1989 have greatly increased the efficacy and benefits of spinal cord stimulation.

The goal of this treatment is to greatly reduce, and even eliminate, chronic pain so that you can experience a more comfortable and active life. We can adjust the low-level electrical impulses that the stimulator device supplies as necessary if your pain changes or improves. Most patients don’t even notice the device.

The implant procedure  

The implant process for spinal cord stimulation is relatively simple and takes place in the office. With a small incision that creates a pocket to hold the stimulator, Dr. Raso implants a very tiny, programmable generator just beneath the surface of your skin.

Electrical leads attached to the generator are directed toward the affected regions of your spine. Small electrical currents then passed from the generator through the leads toward the areas of the spinal cord from which your pain arises. These electrical impulses block the pain signals your nerves send to your brain, which can effectively eliminate or greatly reduce your discomfort.

What makes spinal cord stimulation so popular?

Along with reducing or eliminating chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation offers a targeted treatment for your pain that focuses on the damaged region. Pain medications, on the other hand, affect your entire system.

Side effects are minimal and often directly related to the skill of your provider. A few patients note slight numbness in the targeted area when the stimulator releases electrical impulses. This is often easily remedied at the time of implantation by adjusting the implant settings.

Overall, patients who benefit from spinal cord stimulation experience fewer medical visits, improved health-related quality of life, improved sleep, and greater activity levels.

Who is a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

You can expect Dr. Raso to complete an extensive evaluation and record review to determine whether spinal cord stimulation is the best remedy for your chronic pain.

Typically, Dr. Raso recommends a week-long trial of stimulator before permanent placement to treat the pain arising from conditions that have not responded to conservative therapies, including:

Patients who experience significant relief with the trial phase of the spinal cord stimulator return for more permanent placement of the device. But Dr. Raso can easily remove the implant at a future date should you desire.   

For true relief from chronic neck and back pain that’s tailored to your needs, schedule a visit with Dr. Raso today. Call the office or book your visit online.

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