How a Spinal Cord Stimulator Can Help Your Lower Back Pain

While everyone has occasional low back pain, around 8% of Americans have such severe low back pain that it gets in the way of their everyday activities and limits their quality of life. If this sounds familiar, how many different low back pain treatments have you tried?

With so many potential causes, the issue at the root of your low back pain can sometimes be challenging to diagnose and treat. The list of things that cause low back pain is seemingly endless, from muscle strain and trigger points to herniated discs and neuropathy. So you might need to try a few therapies before finding the right one.

Enter the spinal cord stimulator.

Dr. Navdeep Jassal, our board-certified pain-management specialist here at Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida, offers spinal cord stimulation to treat chronic low back pain. While it’s not a first-line approach to pain management, it can help you avoid surgery and reduce your reliance on medication.

Let’s explore spinal cord stimulation and how it relieves low back pain.

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a small implantable device that sends a mild electrical current into your spine. The pulse stimulates the area of your spine that’s transmitting pain signals to your brain, modifying and interrupting them.

A spinal cord stimulator includes a small generator device that Dr. Jassal implants under the skin of your lower back or upper buttock and an electrode wire that extends from the generator into your spine.

How can a spinal cord stimulator relieve my lower back pain?

Your nerves are the information super-highway of your body. Your brain sends messages to control movement and autonomic functions like digestion, respiration, and your heartbeat. Your nerves send sensory information back to your brain, including pain signals. 

If you have low back pain due to nerve damage or errant pain signals, the electrical pulse created by a spinal cord stimulator can stop the pain signals from reaching your brain.

Pain is how your body tells you that something is wrong. However, those pain signals can continue after the injury or other issues causing your pain has healed. Additionally, if you have chronic pain due to nerve damage or another problem such as arthritis, a spinal cord stimulator can stop those pain signals without putting your health at risk.

How do I know if a spinal cord stimulator is right for me?

Some of the conditions that might improve with spinal cord stimulation include:

Dr. Jassal might suggest spinal cord stimulation if other treatments haven’t relieved your pain, but you wouldn’t benefit from surgery. 

We offer you a consultation and comprehensive exam before recommending any type of pain management intervention. We also provide a spinal cord stimulator trial before permanently implanting the device into your body.

What happens during a spinal cord stimulator trial?

During your spinal cord stimulator trial, Dr. Jassal places the electrode wire into your spine but doesn’t implant the generator. Instead, you wear it in a pouch on your belt or around your neck. A spinal cord stimulator trial lasts around two weeks, which is sufficient time to see if the device relieves your pain and fine-tune the electrical current to optimize your pain relief. If the trial is successful, Dr. Jassal completes your implantation process. 

If you have persistent and disruptive low back pain, call our office or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about spinal cord stimulation and other pain management options.

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