Twin Cities Pain Management
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Spinal Cord Stimulators

The Pain Pathway

Pain messages move over nerve paths to the spine. The spine then carries those messages to the brain. Constant pain messages can cause long-term pain that is difficult to treat. This condition is commonly referred to as chronic pain.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Could Help

One effective treatment for chronic pain is spinal cord stimulation. During treatment a small electric power source sends signals to the spinal cord. The signals prevent those chronic pain messages from making it to your brain. Instead, patients report feeling tingling from the electrical signals.

The Stimulator System

The stimulator apparatus is made up of many parts. A power source creates the signals. The power source either can be worn outside the body or implanted under the skin of your abdomen or buttocks. One or more flexible, plastic wires are placed inside the body to deliver the signals to your spinal cord. If you are a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain, your doctor will explain the system in great detail before the procedure.

Stimulator Placement Procedure

Spinal cord stimulator placement is completed in two stages. First, a trial stage is completed to measure how effective spinal cord stimulation is for you. If the trial stage is successful, a permanent stimulator system is placed.

Placing the Trial Lead

The trial lead is placed under the skin of your back through a small incision. One end of the lead is placed near the spinal cord. The other end is attached to the stimulator power source. The stimulator is then adjusted to the right level. For the trial stage, you wear the power source outside your body.

The Trial Stage

You will be instructed to keep a second pain log during the trial stage. This log can be compared with your first pain log to show well the stimulator system is working for you.

Placing the Permanent System

If the trial stimulator works well for you, a permanent system will be put into place at a surgery center or hospital.