Feeling Out The Neurostimulator For Back Pain

Over the years, back pain has been one of the biggest health challenges for doctors and patients alike. Several surgical and non-surgical options help, including neurostimulators. Neurostimulators may work well for patients with severe back pain that has been unresponsive to treatment. If the neurostimulator is available to the clinic, a doctor may raise the possibility of a trial. Neurostimulators are small devices with a wire, battery, and generator, similar to a pacemaker. The goal of the stimulator is to disrupt pain signals sent to the brain. The patient uses the device for a short period, about 5-7 days, to see if there is a significant improvement in pain.

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Installing the neurostimulator

The surgical team starts with injecting fluid to increase the epidural space in the spine. A local anesthetic ensures the patient feels no pain during the process. The surgeon then inserts 1 or 2 thin wires, called a lead, using a catheter. The lead may run along the length of several vertebrae, depending on the source of pain. The wire then connects to the stimulator and battery outside of the body.

Should you consider a trial?

This is a quick, outpatient procedure with minimal discomfort. The patient must then record the effectiveness of the device for the next 5-7 days. If the device significantly reduces pain, there is an argument for a permanent device. The permanent device is installed in the body and can last for several years. Still on the fence about using a neurostimulator? Here are 4 reasons to consider this revolutionary treatment.

1. Nothing else seems to work

The medical team and patient will try all non-surgical means to bring relief. This runs the gamut of medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy. Some patients even try other specialized treatments like chiropractic care, massage therapy, or acupuncture. While these are potent options, some patients still get no relief. Trying the neurostimulator can often be a last resort for long-term relief.

2. There is a high success rate

The goal of the stimulation is to restrict pain signals from going to the brain. In most cases, the device can make that happen. Most doctors believe that at least a 50% reduction in pain is a successful trial. Research shows as many as 80% of patients experiencing long-term relief. Given that the spinal cord stimulators are offered to a specific group of people, these are great numbers.

3. You want to avoid significant surgery

Doctors will recommend that some patients undergo surgery to reduce pain. Surgery can be in the form of removing a disc, bone or having a spinal fusion. Some patients choose not to turn to surgery, often due to personal reasons. Surgery is also not without risk. The surgery may fail, or the patient may suffer complications. One can argue the stimulator installation is no more invasive than an epidural injection. The device may bring relief without the stress of potential surgery.

4. You can’t have further surgery

On the other end of the spectrum, a patient may have already had surgery. However, what if the procedure brings no further relief? Based on the type of surgery, the surgeon may advise another approach. At this point, a neurostimulator may be the way to have a better quality of life without going under the knife again.

Ready for your trial?

Giving the machine a test run can be a life-changing event. Back pain can restrict work, social activities, and the overall quality of life. If all other options fail, consider the stimulator. A successful trial means that patients can get several years of relief with a permanent implant. For more information, speak with a pain management specialist.

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“Efficiency of the staff. Courteous, friendly and caring attitude. Excellent office staff. Pleasant surroundings.”

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“Everyone was friendly and the place was very clean.”

“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”
“No severe pain – Just a little discomfort – I was asked several times during procedure if I was OK – they showed genuine concern for my well being.”

“All staff were wonderful.”

“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”
“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”

“Entire staff was knowledgeable and courteous. They genuinely cared for my well being and made sure my wife and I were taken care of.”

“The nurses were very nice and caring!”
“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”

“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

“Dr. Best…is the best!”
“Everyone was friendly and concerned about my comfort. They frequently asked how I was doing, or if I needed something.”
“The STAFF from the moment you walk in were the nicest people I’ve encountered at a medical facility.”
“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”
“Dr. Tupper was amazing! He spent time explaining exactly what he was doing, what I would experience and made sure I was comfortable.”
“The staff was very polite, they were excellent. They explained exactly what was going on.”

“Anesthesia staff was outstanding!”

“All staff were wonderful.”

“Experience was amazing. The nurses my son needed at this time couldn’t have been chosen any more perfect. They were supportive and understanding, patient and just great human beings.THANK YOU KINDLY ”

“I liked that it was so clean. Every staff member was pleasant and easy to talk with.”

“Amazing nurses, very caring and friendly and put both me and my son at ease.”

“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

“Amazing nurses, very caring and friendly and put both me and my son at ease.”

“Rebecca was amazing. I have always had trouble in the past with getting an IV started. I told Rebecca I was concerned about it. She got it on the 1st try – no digging in my arm and NO bruising the next day.”
“NO wait time, RN Rebecca answered all questions prior to my visit by phone and again answered all questions and concerns while prepping me.”

“The staff was great, especially Mary and Marcia. Marcia was extremely helpful post-op and made sure I was comfortable and well-cared for.”

“Marcia and staff were excellent and genuinely cared for my well being. Wish I could have taken them home.”

“Incredibly professional, friendly and confidence of knowing their roles as healthcare employees. Excellent!”

“I can’t say enough about Marcia and the entire team. The care I received was well beyond anything I could have expected.”

“Dr. Dedhia made everything clear and even scheduled an early follow-up appt so I could get back to work sooner.”

“Everyone was concerned with my comfort.”

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