A nerve stimulator implant, also known as a spinal cord stimulator implant, is a device that sends gentle electrical impulses to the spinal cord. The goal of spinal cord stimulation is to provide pain relief for people living with debilitating conditions like chronic back pain.
By disrupting the pain signals that travel between the spinal cord and the brain, nerve stimulator implants can provide a significant level of relief that allows people to resume activities that were previously difficult or impossible to perform.
If you’re seeking effective pain management for chronic back pain, failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), complex regional pain syndrome, arachnoiditis, diabetic neuropathy, angina, or another condition, keep reading to learn about the benefits of nerve stimulator implants.
What Are the Primary Benefits of Nerve Stimulator Implants?
A spinal cord stimulator is often recommended to patients seeking pain management for debilitating symptoms that have not responded to conservative therapies. In other situations, the therapy is recommended to patients dealing with complications following previous spine surgery.
Spinal cord stimulation has proven effective for many people. The therapy can offer the following benefits:
- No chemical dependency. Pain medications, especially powerful prescription medications, can create chemical dependency. As time goes on, many people find they need increasingly larger doses to find relief. In contrast, nerve stimulation works by sending gentle electrical pulses directly to the spinal cord and replacing the pain sensation with a slight tingling sensation. Stimulation therapy can help people reduce their reliance on medications, or even eliminate it entirely from their treatment plans.
- No taking or refilling medications. Other drawbacks of medication are remembering to take it as prescribed and requesting regular refills. In contrast, once the implanted device has been placed it can function for years without needing to be replaced.
- Complete control over the level of stimulation. Using the adjustable stimulator settings on an external controller, you can increase or decrease the level of stimulation to a degree that is comfortable, offering you the ability to fine-tune your therapy to best meet your needs. This type of customization isn’t possible with other forms of treatment.
- Minimally invasive treatment. Compared to other forms of spine surgery, even minimally invasive decompression procedures, spinal cord stimulation involves a very small incision and limited tissue disruption. This is one reason why it is an attractive alternative for patients who are dealing with FBSS or who are not viable candidates for spine surgery.
- A higher activity level. Chronic pain can be a vicious cycle. The pain can make it difficult to move and accomplish daily activities, leading to a sedentary lifestyle. However, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to muscle breakdown, decreased function, and mental health issues that can worsen chronic pain. A nerve stimulator implant can help break this cycle by giving you adequate relief that allows you to increase your activity levels and undergo physical therapy.
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