Is Spinal Cord Stimulation Dangerous?

Is Spinal Cord Stimulation Dangerous?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a trip to the doctor’s office. This is particularly true of those who are older in age. Over time, the spine takes a lot of wear and tear throughout a person’s life. The joints begin to break down and the discs, which absorb shock in the spine begin to lose their cushion. As a result, people may begin to feel back pain as they age. Back pain is a leading cause of missed workdays and missed time with family and friends. It can greatly diminish a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, back pain can be very difficult to treat and may take months of trying different therapies before a good regimen is found. Fortunately, pain management specialists offer the option of spinal cord stimulation which can greatly help those suffering from back pain.

           When people hear the term “spinal cord stimulation” it may sound dangerous. While there are risks with any medical procedure, when spinal cord stimulation is performed by a knowledgeable physician, those risks can be greatly mitigated and the benefits of the procedure greatly outweigh the downsides. Gaining a better understanding of spinal cord stimulation can help patients to feel more comfortable with the procedure, thus allowing them to live a much better quality of life once the procedure has been performed.

           Spinal cord stimulation involves implanting a battery-operated device underneath the skin. This device sends electrical signals to the spinal cord to intercept pain signals being sent to the brain. It is important to note this is a semi-permanent procedure. The device can last as long as eight years at a time. Patients who undergo spinal cord stimulation must have had a successful trial run with a trial spinal cord stimulator. This trial run helps physicians to determine if this procedure is something that will truly benefit the patient before moving onto a permeant version. 

           The best candidates for spinal cord stimulation are those who suffer from neuropathic pain. This means patients who feel burning, stabbing or tingling pain. This is especially true for patients who notice these sensations after previous back or leg surgery. It can also be helpful for patients who suffer from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Many patients who suffer from these conditions and feelings try to find relief for months without success. Undergoing spinal cord stimulation can help these patients to experience significant pain relief and attain a better quality of life.

           Like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with spinal cord stimulation. However, when it is performed under the care of a seasoned pain management specialist, the rewards significantly outweigh the risks. Patients who undergo this procedure must avoid heavy activity for a few days following the procedure. However, after the patient is healed, they can resume normal activities. Most patients who undergo this procedure find their severe pain is reduced to a mere tingle. Spinal cord stimulation does have risks but it is not dangerous when performed by an experienced physician. Undergoing spinal cord stimulation can greatly help those suffering from spinal pain. 

 

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