Perhaps you’ve exhausted your treatment options or you’re just not keen on certain pain management avenues. Whatever the reason, you’re left trying to figure out how to relieve the ongoing pain that’s having a major effect on your quality of life. It might be time to explore neurostimulation.
At Bux Pain Management, board-certified anesthesiologist Dr. Anjum Bux and the rest of the team understand the many challenges that come with managing chronic and intractable pain. In an effort to provide patients with as many options as possible, we offer neurostimulation, or spinal cord stimulation. Each year, 50,000 spinal cord stimulators (SCSs) are implanted, offering recipients a wide range of benefits, five of which we review here.
Spinal cord stimulation at a glance
Before we get into the benefits of spinal cord stimulation, let’s take a look at this innovative approach to pain management. In brief, neuromodulation is a technique in which we use electrical impulses to disrupt the overactive pain signaling to your brain.
To accomplish this, we implant electrodes into the area along your spinal cord where we believe the pain signaling is most active. These electrodes emit mild pulses that are powered by a small generator that we place under your skin, usually in your abdomen.
Now that we understand what’s behind neuromodulation, let’s look at some of the benefits.
1. Reducing the risks that come with painkillers
Relying on opioid-based painkillers to relieve your pain carries some significant risk, namely addiction. Up to 19% of people who are prescribed opioid painkillers go on to develop an opioid use disorder.
With neuromodulation, we can reduce or eliminate these painkillers from your pain management plan.
2. A nonsurgical approach
Whether you’ve already had surgery and the results fell short or you just don’t want to add an invasive surgery to your current situation, spinal cord stimulation may be the best solution. The procedure to implant the SCS is minimally invasive and carries very little risk. In fact, we implant the device here at our offices using only local anesthesia.
3. A test run
Before we implant a permanent SCS, we first conduct a trial period to ensure that the treatment works. We place electrodes into your spinal cord, but use an external unit to generate the impulses. Over the course of 7-10 days, you can give neuromodulation a trial run to determine whether it provides adequate relief.
4. You control your pain relief
After we implant your SCS (and during your trial period), you’re in charge of your pain relief. The SCS comes with a control that you turn on and adjust when needed. Of course, we program the SCS in advance so that there’s a range within which you can control the impulses.
5. A great solution for hard-to-treat pain
Another great benefit of neuromodulation is that it’s proving to be a great solution for people who have tough pain conditions, such as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). One report concluded that, “There is little doubt that SCS represents a safe and effective therapy for patients with neuropathic pain conditions, especially those with FBSS.”
If these benefits of neuromodulation sound like something you’d like to pursue further, please contact one of our four offices in Lexington, Cynthiana, Maysville, or Danville, Kentucky, to schedule a consultation.