Regenerative Medicine Pain Management & Aesthetic & Wellness Clinic located in Aiken, SC & Hilton Head Island, SC
Spinal Cord Stimulator Q&A
What is a spinal cord stimulator?
A spinal cord stimulator is an electrical device that a surgeon implants under your skin. Thin wires called electrodes extend from the stimulator’s generator into your epidural space, which is located within your spinal column around the spinal cord.
Whenever you feel pain, you can use a remote control that comes with your device to send electrical signals from the generator to the electrodes. These electrical stimulations dull the pain by affecting the pain signals within your spinal cord.
Novo Wellness implants your spinal cord stimulator during a surgery. They use either X-ray or ultrasound guidance to plant the electrodes in the correct area along your spine.
What can a spinal cord stimulator treat?
Since all pain signals must travel through your spinal cord to reach your brain in order for you to perceive them, spinal cord stimulators can treat a diverse range of pain sources.
Spinal cord stimulation can treat:
- Back or neck pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Angina (heart pain)
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Peripheral vascular disease
With a spinal cord stimulator, you can reduce or even eliminate your need for pharmaceutical pain medications.
For ideal results, Novo Wellness might suggest integrating a spinal cord stimulator into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes physical therapy, exercises, relaxation techniques, and other approaches to improve your mobility and functioning.
What maintenance does my spinal cord stimulator require?
Living with a spinal cord stimulator can significantly reduce your pain, but you must keep up on its maintenance and take some precautions with certain activities. You’ll need to replace its battery every 2-5 years if you have a non-rechargeable battery or every 8-10 years with a battery you must charge every night.
Additionally, while you have a spinal cord stimulator, you should:
- Let your physicians know of your device before X-rays and CT scans
- Avoid MRI scans
- Carry an ID card from your doctor for airport security
- Power off your stimulator when you drive
You can swim, bathe, or shower with a permanent stimulator. However, you might go through an initial trial period with a temporary stimulator, which you should try your best not to get wet.
A spinal cord stimulator can improve your quality of life by reducing pain and the need for pain medications. To learn more about the device and find out if you’re a candidate for one, call Novo Wellness or schedule an appointment online today.