Spinal Cord Stimulation
Neuromodulation, or spinal cord stimulation, is at the forefront of the interventional pain medicine field and rapidly developing in terms of technological advancements. Think of it as a way of changing the way you perceive pain. For example, when you have pain in the foot; even though to you that pain feels “chronic” or “instantaneous”, that pain signal had to travel through nerves in your foot that connect to nerves in your spinal cord, where it is relayed to your brain and once it arrives at a “pain center” in your brain do you perceive the experience of pain. There is, infact, a constant relay of information like “electricity through a wire” that allows us to feel these sensations. A spinal cord stimulator is a device that is placed in the back to “scramble” or “intracept” these pain signals before they reach the brain so that we do not feel chronic nerve pain.
Advancements in spinal cord stimulation now allow us to treat focal areas of pain that were historically difficult to target (ie pain in the ankle or pain in the big toe). Spinal cord stimulation is a two part process. The device is trialed first or “test driven” before placed permanently so that both the patient and physician can ensure its efficacy. Rest assured that the device itself is not actually permanent and can be removed if the need ever arises without causing any lasting changes. At Lone Star Spine and Pain Insitute, we offer several types of neuromodulation therapy including traditional dorsal column stimulators but also dorsal root ganglion stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation.