Any spinal cord injury can change your life drastically that alters your movement and loss of sensations. The spine is the central support system that helps your body with normal movements and any type of injury that damages your back will come with major side effects. There have been recent advancements with spinal cord stimulators that we would like to highlight below.
Spinal Cord Stimulators
Luckily, spinal cord stimulators (SCS) have helped many patients with chronic back pain or chronic neck pain that is not related to movement. Many patients have relieved 50% of pain with these stimulators and have better function because of the spinal cord stimulators. This treatment was first helping patients to treat pain in 1967 and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989 to relieve pain in the neck, arms or legs. This treatment now helps 90% of all neuromodulation treatments and is expected to grow to manage as the population ages and the system can treat other diseases.
What is Spinal Cord Stimulators
Spinal Cord Stimulators, or SCS, creates and sends mild electric currents in your spinal cord. This device is surgically placed under your skin. There are thin wires connected to the devices that carry electric current to the nerve fibers attached to the spinal cord. When the spinal cord stimulator is turned on, the device stimulates the nerves in the area that is in pain. The pain is reduced because the electrical pulses mask the pain signal that is connected to the brain.
Types of Patients
The use of this device can are recommended by practitioners who commonly have numbness in their limbs or chronic back pain. This is a list of symptoms from patients who benefit from the spinal cord stimulators:
- Nerve damage and pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve pain
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Failed back surgery
Recovery from Surgery
After the anesthesia wears off, you will be able to go home and your physician will advise you on how to use your device. You will have to be careful on your movements because the incisions will still be raw at this time. These incisions will usually be healed within the first two to four weeks after surgery. Light movement will be fine, like walking and driving. Six to eight weeks after the surgery is the usual time to be completely healed and can return to normal life.
On the follow-up visits, your physician can change or alter the pulses of the system that benefits your pain levels. If there is no desire for the SCS system, the device can be removed without any damages to the spine or nerves.
Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have proved that Spinal cord therapy is safe and effective. Any procedures do have potential risks so be sure to talk to your doctor about any risks about this therapy.