How Does the Spinal Cord Stimulator Work?
The first step is a trial run – a temporary stimulator is implanted to determine if the therapy provides satisfactory pain relief.
Typically, neurostimulation works by applying a low voltage current to the source of the chronic pain. This produces a tingling sensation that blocks the brain’s ability to discern the previously perceived pain. The source of the pain is still present, but the SCS interferes with the signal to the brain. In spinal cord stimulation, soft, thin wires with electrical leads on their tips are placed through a needle in the back near the spinal column. A small incision is then made and a tiny generator, that can be programmed, is placed in the upper buttock or abdomen (under the skin) which discharges electrical current to the spinal column.
If your trial is successful, and you and Dr. Harron decide you will benefit from SCS, we will work with you to schedule the placement of a permanent SCS system. Using a magnetic remote control, you can turn the current on and off, or adjust the intensity, rapidly responding to changes in the location or severity of your pain. Since the system is portable, SCS allows you to resume many normal daily life activities at home and at work, as well as recreational activities.