Spinal Cord Stimulators Offer Drug-Free Relief for Chronic Back Pain

If you have persistent pain for six months or more, it’s considered chronic. By that point, you may have tried just about everything to find relief, but you know you don’t want to undergo even more painful surgery or take medication for the rest of your life. What do you do?

Navdeep Jassal, MD, of the Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida offers a minimally invasive treatment called spinal cord stimulation to get rid of your relentless pain.

What is spinal cord stimulation?

If your chronic back pain hasn’t responded well to chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy, or injections, spinal cord stimulation is an advanced option for your complex condition. The treatment involves the use of low-grade electrical pulses that interrupt the way your nerves transmit pain throughout your body and the way your brain receives and processes those pain signals.

Candidates for spinal cord stimulation

Before you get the green light to receive a spinal cord stimulator, Dr. Jassal uses a temporary device to conduct a trial. If your pain lessens during the trial period, it’s likely that you’re a good candidate for permanent placement of a stimulator. The weeklong test period is also a great time for you to see how you feel with the wires and if you think you’re getting adequate relief. 

As with all pain management solutions, Dr. Jassal conducts a thorough physical exam, runs tests, and talks to you about your health history before he makes any recommendations.

How is a spinal cord stimulator installed?

After you pass through the trial phase and determine that you can benefit from spinal cord stimulation, you’ll come into our pain management clinic for permanent implantation of your spinal cord stimulator. 

During the short outpatient procedure, a member of our team positions you on your stomach and delivers a local anesthetic to make you comfortable. Then, Dr. Jassal makes a tiny incision in your back and places an ultra-thin electrical wire in the epidural space in your spine. He guides the microscopic wire to a second incision near your waist. There he hooks the wire to a small generator, or stimulator, that he leaves in place under your skin. Once your incision is closed, you can sit up and relax until you go home. You’ll leave with a small remote to control and adjust your stimulator and help regulate the pain. Our team explains everything you need to know about how to operate your spinal cord stimulator. 

What are the side effects?

Adverse effects are rare. Most problems with spinal cord stimulator placement have to do with the surgical procedure itself, which can lead to bleeding or infection. Some patients report pain at the surgical site for a few days following the implant, but it typically subsides on its own. We’ll go over the risks and possible complications so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

What kind of results can I expect?

For more than 50 years, spinal cord stimulation has helped thousands of men and women. In fact, since its inception, nearly 300,000 stimulator recipients have seen their pain greatly reduced and their quality of life improve. Many people report immediate relief after the implant, while it takes others a few days or weeks to adjust and customize the stimulator’s settings to get optimal relief. 

The team at Spine & Pain Institute of Florida walks with you through each phase of your therapy, from trial to implant to living with neurostimulation. We’ll check up on you regularly and help you make the most of your spinal cord stimulator.

Get drug-free relief for your chronic back pain and get your life back. Call our office or use the online booking feature to see if you’re a candidate for spinal cord stimulation.

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