UC San Diego Health has released a statement on the popularity of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and how it can potentially help alleviate both physical and psychological pain. This treatment is available at Integrated Pain Consultants, where many of our pain management professionals are double board-certified in pain management and anesthesiology. UC San Diego Health points out that we often think of pain as strictly physical, putting the mental toll of pain on the back burner. Two recent review articles in Pain Medicine highlight the dynamics between the symptoms of pain and mental anguish (such as depression). It’s important that we treat the whole person suffering from pain, not just the physical symptoms, but spinal cord stimulation can help get patients the help they need.
This minimally-invasive procedure places small devices in the lower back of those struggling with certain kinds of chronic nerve pain. SCS stimulates the spinal cord electronically, stopping the pain signals. Spinal cord stimulation has been around for many decades, but today’s devices feature tiny batteries and wireless connectivity. A waveform (also known as a “burst”) stimulation pattern is relatively new, and echoes the brain’s natural signaling patterns. This allows spinal cord stimulation to release signals in bursts rather than one continuous signal. These lower doses of current allow the primary battery to last for years without needing to be recharged. So, what does this mean for patients?
Of course, any pain relief will help you live a fuller, healthier, more joyful life—but worrying about batteries running low or hassling with recharging them takes its toll. The latest spinal cord stimulation technology means patients can potentially go for 10 years without having to recharge their device. Plus, lower doses and bursts bypass the risk of patients becoming tolerant to non-stop stimulation (which leads to SCS becoming less effective). Today’s spinal cord stimulation is designed to complement the brain’s natural function, last for years without maintenance, and ensure patients enjoy long-term pain relief.
Are you interested in learning more about spinal cord stimulation and other non-surgical options? Call Integrated Pain Consultants at (480) 626-2552 for a detailed evaluation, and opt for a virtual consultation if you’re a high-risk patient.