03 Dec The Use Of Electrical Nerve Stimulation To Treat Chronic Pain
Electrical nerve stimulation is the use of an electrical current to treat debilitating chronic pain that has not responded to other types of treatment. There are generally two types of electrical nerve stimulation used by pain management doctors to treat chronic pain in patients. Both spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) are performed by using the electrical pulses from a small pulse generator to send signals to the peripheral nerve or the spinal cord so that they will interfere with the impulses that cause pain.
How Nerve Stimulation Is Performed
Nerve stimulation is a two-step process that begins with the doctor inserting a temporary electrode into your skin to perform a trial. The trial run will let the doctor know if the process will be successful. With the use of a local anesthetic and sedative, a permanent stimulator is implanted under the surface of the skin. Along with the stimulator, leads are also implanted below the surface of the skin where they can be connected to the nerves or inserted into the spinal canal. The doctor sets the pulse strength and the stimulator is used at home for the duration of time instructed by the doctor.
Who Benefits from Nerve Stimulation?
Nerve stimulation is not the first course of treatment in most cases. Frequently, it is only used after every other treatment option has failed to produce the desired results. They may have the procedure if they have failed back surgery syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, or a severe nerve-related pain or numbness.
The Success Rate of Spinal Cord Stimulation
The success of spinal cord stimulation depends on the condition for which it is used. Pain management doctors who have used the treatment on patients with failed back surgery syndrome or complex regional pain syndrome have good success. The same is true for those who have received nerve stimulation for chronic leg pain, low back pain, complex regional pain syndrome and ischemic leg.
Peripheral nerve stimulation can also help chronic pain such as peripheral nerve pain and that which occurs after surgery. One reason that this is considered the last resort in treating chronic pain is the list of risks that apply to the treatment. Potential risks include:
• Head ache
• Development of scar tissue from implanted electrode
• Leakage of spinal fluid
• Potential for pain to move away from the reach of the stimulator
• Broken electrode or failure of hardware
Nerve stimulators are made to treat pain, not the underlying condition which causes it. Some patients are able to reduce the amount of narcotics they take while still enjoying significant pain relief.
Texas Pain Network offer San Antonio patients the option for a multitude of treatments to provide pain relief. Pain treatment is individualized for each patient and provided by Double Board Certified Doctors who are experienced and skilled in pain management. San Antonio patients who have received treatment at Texas Pain Network have experienced the difference in treatment from the best pain management clinic in San Antonio.