When conservative treatment options fail to provide the relief you’re seeking from low back, neck, arm or leg pain, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) can often achieve effective results. This treatment delivers low-level electrical stimulation to the spinal cord or the surrounding nerves in order to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
Spinal cord stimulation doesn’t treat the cause of your pain; it just blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain. As a result, the level of pain reduction varies from patient to patient. Clinical studies have demonstrated 50-80% of patients receive good to excellent long-term relief from SCS treatments. While significant (50-70%) reduction in pain is often achieved, you’ll likely find that even a small improvement in your pain level will have a dramatic impact on your ability to enjoy your life.
Am I a Candidate for Spinal Cord Stimulation?
Spinal cord stimulation is most effective at treating chronic pain in the following areas:
If all of these treatments have failed and surgery has been unsuccessful or is unlikely to help, then spinal cord stimulation is generally the next treatment to consider. During your initial consultation, Dr. Trainor will review your medical history and imaging, and perform a physical examination. If he believes SCS is the right treatment approach for you, he’ll discuss the procedure in detail so that you understand what is involved before moving forward.
Before undergoing spinal cord stimulation, you must complete the preoperative process, which involves:
Updated MRI imaging (if it hasn’t been performed within the last year)
Meeting with a pain psychologist to discuss any psychological barriers to moving forward with SCS (this meeting is required by insurance companies)
After this process has been completed, you’ll undergo a SCS trial. Small, temporary electrical leads will be placed into the back part of your spinal cord and plugged into an external battery. These temporary leads will stay in place for about one week. If you experience at least 50% reduction in pain during this time, you’ll be considered a suitable candidate for permanent implantation.
Your spinal cord stimulation procedure will take place four weeks after the end of the trial. A small incision is made in the middle of your back in order to place the electrical leads. The leads are secured to the muscle, and the incision is closed. A second incision will be created in the flank region and the battery is placed underneath the skin.
You’ll return to our office 10-14 days later so Dr. Trainor can check your incision. You’ll also have another follow-up visit six weeks after your procedure. After this checkup, you’ll be allowed to increase your physical activity.
Exceptional Pain Management Treatment
At the Denver Spine and Pain Institute, we’ve witnessed firsthand how debilitating pain can derail your quality of life. Our team is committed to providing you with the relief necessary to enjoy your favorite activities and perform routine daily activities with ease. Our goal is to help you live life to the fullest once again.
Our exclusive Connected Care Approach™ has been designed with your needs in mind, and it will get you back to enjoying life without the frustration and challenges that often come along with chronic pain. As part of this approach, you’ll receive:
A full spectrum of care options, including physician treatments, physical therapy, massage, diet and lifestyle coaching, behavioral health services and other state-of-the-art treatments
Individualized care plans to address your specific pain needs
Caring and therapeutic relationships with our team to ensure the best possible treatment
A detailed discussion of all your treatment options so that you can make an informed decision
We’ll work closely with you to identify and deliver the treatments necessary to achieve the pain relief you’re seeking.
Schedule an Appointment
Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. The Denver Spine and Pain Institute serves patients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.