Back pain is the top cause of disability worldwide. Chronic back pain can keep you from work, hobbies, and enjoying your life — and it’s notoriously challenging to diagnose and treat.
Maybe you suffered an injury. Maybe you’re dealing with age-related degeneration. Maybe you’ve tried conservative options like physical therapy and medication, but you’re still dealing with chronic back pain and a low quality of life.
The good news is that you’re not out of options. A spinal cord stimulator could offer lasting relief from your chronic back pain. In Smithtown and West Islip, New York, Eric Fanaee, MD, and our pain management team specialize in spinal cord stimulators for patients who haven’t found relief with more conservative treatment. Here’s how they work.
Spinal cord stimulators stop pain signals
Your spinal canal runs through the center of your spine. It houses your spinal cord, which contains nerve fibers that connect your brain to the rest of your body.
If you get injured, your nerves send pain signals through your spinal cord to your brain. Pain receptors receive the signals, and your brain tells you that you feel pain sensations. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong, but with chronic pain, it stops serving a useful purpose.
Spinal injury and degeneration often cause inflammation that irritates your spinal cord. The nerves may become compressed or pinched, triggering pain signals and chronic back pain.
A spinal cord stimulator is an implant that sends low-level electrical currents to your spinal cord. The current interferes with the pain signals being sent to your brain, which effectively dulls or eliminates sensations of pain.
Spinal cord stimulators are adjustable, so you can choose the amount of pain relief you get. It’s drug-free and reversible, making it a great option for patients who haven’t found relief from their pain with other treatment options.
Spinal cord stimulators for chronic pain management
Dr. Fanaee and our team specialize in spinal cord stimulators for chronic back pain. If you’ve exhausted your conservative treatment options without adequate pain relief, we may recommend trying a spinal cord stimulator.
Spinal cord stimulators can offer long-lasting pain relief from conditions like:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Herniated or slipped disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal cord injuries
Like other pain management techniques, spinal cord stimulators may not work for everyone. Some people achieve nearly complete pain relief, while others may find that the treatment doesn’t work effectively enough for them.
Participating in a trial implantation is important so you can decide if spinal cord stimulation is right for you. During your trial, Dr. Fanaee places one to two wires into your spine temporarily, and you control the electrical current with a handheld device for several days.
If the spinal cord stimulation trial is effective in managing your pain, Dr. Fanaee can place a permanent stimulator. Permanent wires are connected to an implantable pulse generator (IPG) battery under your skin, and you control the electrical current with a wireless device.
Spinal cord stimulation is an effective, drug-free solution for lasting back pain management for many patients. Talk to Dr. Fanaee to learn more and to find out if it’s an option for you. Call our visit request line at 631-265-2020, or book an appointment online to get started.