Physiotherapist working with patient in clinic, closeupIf you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, you might have heard about spinal cord stimulation (SCS) as a potential solution. But how does spinal cord stimulation work? 

To reduce pain, a tiny device called a spinal cord stimulator is used to provide electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Learn more about spinal cord stimulation in the next paragraphs.

What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a medical device that a healthcare provider can implant in your body to address intense pain. These devices are available in various types and can serve as an alternative to treatments like opioids, which carry the risk of addiction.

How Does a Spinal Cord Stimulation Work

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an advanced technique used for neuropathic pain management. Let’s explore how it works:

Implantation of Electrodes

Electrodes, which are tiny wires, are inserted into your spine’s epidural area during spinal cord stimulation. This region is situated between your vertebrae and the dura mater, the outermost membrane of your spinal cord. The electrodes are positioned carefully to focus on particular regions associated with pain perception.

Electrical Impulses

Wires connect these electrodes to a generator that is implanted under your skin (usually near the buttocks or abdomen). The generator sends bursts of electricity to the electrodes, which then deliver electrical impulses to the spinal cord.

Blocking Pain Signals

SCS aims to prevent pain impulses from ever reaching your brain. The spinothalamic tract is the precise pathway along which the electrical impulses interfere with nerve signals. This tract connects to the thalamus, a region of your brain, after passing via your spinal cord.

Through disruption of this route, SCS can modify feelings associated with:

  • Temperature 
  • Harsh contact 
  • Pressure
  • Pain

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain Management

SCS is used to treat various types of chronic pain, including:

  • Other surgical pain
  • Chronic back pain or neck pain
  • Inflammation of the spinal cord membrane
  • Pain after amputation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Neuropathic pain (e.g., from diabetes or cancer)
  • Angina pectoris
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Visceral abdominal pain

The primary benefit of SCS is reduced chronic pain, which can improve mobility, function, and overall quality of life.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Spine Treatment in Texas

If you are experiencing any chronic pain, our experienced team at the Freedom Spine & Pain Center is here to help. Contact us at 210-920-8945 to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today.