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How a Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Works

Mar 23, 2023
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Spinal cord stimulators are a new and innovative treatment that can be used for chronic pain management. Read on to learn more about how this pain management procedure works.

Pain can happen for quite literally thousands of reasons, whether it stems from an injury, illness, or some other health condition. Pain can be short term (acute) or long-lasting (chronic). But with a pain management plan, your health care provider can help reduce your pain and improve your quality of life through injections and other procedures that can relieve pain.

At Genesis Pain & Regenerative MedicineDon Enty, MD uses his expertise with anesthesia and pain management to give you long-lasting pain relief. Spinal cord stimulators are one of the methods we use to offer you permanent pain reduction. Our team reviews how the procedure works and what it can be used for.

Explaining spinal cord stimulators

Spinal cord stimulators are a relatively new pain management procedure, with 50,000 of them being implanted around the world each year. That number is expected to grow as they become more popular to treat chronic pain conditions.

Spinal cord stimulators are devices that are implanted into your spine in order to reduce chronic pain. They’re able to do this by sending low-grade pulses of electricity to block pain signals from reaching your brain.

These devices are not often the first line of treatment and are recommended after other alternative pain management methods have failed or are not desired, like opioid pain medications.

What can spinal cord stimulators be used for?

If you have chronic pain, poor sleep, and low quality of life, and pain medications have been unsuccessful, you might be a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. These devices can be used to treat some of the following conditions:

  • Whiplash
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Fibromyalgia

Any type of chronic neck or back pain can also benefit from a spinal cord stimulator.

Spinal cord stimulator implantation

This implantation surgery requires two different procedures. The first one is known as the “trial” procedure. Dr. Enty will only insert one or two wires into your spine through one incision, leaving a generator outside your body. The trial period is about one week and is considered successful if it removes at least 50% of your pain. If the trial doesn’t work, the wires are able to be removed very easily. 

If the trial period is successful, the implant will be made permanent by adding a second incision where the generator goes. Once everything is working, the incisions are closed.

If you struggle with chronic pain and would like a pain management plan, our team is here to help. To learn more about spinal cord stimulators and other pain relief options, contact our office located in Colleyville, Texas, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment with us today.