Spinal cord stimulation offers hope to patients with severe pain when nothing else works. Board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist George Drakes, MD, and his team at Metro Spine PC specialize in neuromodulation techniques like spinal cord stimulation. The practice has offices in Clinton and Oxon Hill, Maryland, offering spinal cord stimulator trials and implantation. Call your nearest Metro Spine PC office today or schedule a consultation online to see if spinal cord stimulation is a good choice for your pain disorder.
Spinal cord stimulation treats severe, chronic (long-term) back and neck pain when other treatments are ineffective.
Your nervous system uses electrical impulses to relay sensations like pain, pleasure, heat, and cold, ensure organs function, and activate muscles. Spinal cord stimulation uses similar electrical pulses to disrupt nerve communication, limiting the nerve signals causing pain and other unpleasant problems.
The Metro Spine PC team implants the spinal cord stimulator unit delivering the electrical pulses under your skin. You control it using a hand-held device, matching the electrical signal strength and frequency to your pain levels.
Some spinal cord stimulator signals change pain sensations to a soothing, tingling feeling (paresthesia). Others block all sensations.
Spinal cord stimulation isn’t limited to specific conditions. But because it requires a procedure involving the spinal nerves, it’s reserved for patients with severe pain when no other treatments are effective.
Many people with chronic pain find conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication helpful. Those who don’t often benefit from steroid injections, restorative medicine treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, or radiofrequency ablation.
If nothing works and the pain significantly affects your quality of life, spinal cord stimulation could be the answer. It’s especially effective for people with challenging conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
After determining that spinal cord stimulation suits you, the Metro Spine PC team arranges a trial. This ensures that the treatment is effective before you undergo full implantation.
For the trial, which lasts about a week, your doctor inserts small electrical wires (electrodes) into your spine. They position them by asking for feedback on where you feel the most relief. The electrodes link to an external unit for the trial.
You report your experience to Metro Spine PC when the trial period ends. You and your doctor then decide if full implantation is the right choice. If it is, your doctor performs a second procedure, inserting permanent electrodes and the implantable pulse generator (IPG) under the skin on your back or buttock.