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Spinal Cord Stimulation Specialist

Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

Finding the most effective method for managing your pain can be frustrating. Spinal cord stimulation may serve as a drug-free way to help you get relief from your pain. At Pacific Pain Physicians, with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, California, the pain management specialists may recommend spinal cord stimulation if can’t get the relief you need from other methods. To learn more about spinal cord stimulation, call the office today or book online.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A

HF10: How It Works

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is a device that blocks the pain signals from your nerves to your brain to stop or diminish the painful sensation. Spinal cord stimulation doesn’t fix the underlying cause of your pain but alters how you feel the pain to improve your overall quality of life.

How does spinal cord stimulation relieve my pain?

Spinal cord stimulation uses a low-voltage electric current to alter the pain signals. It can help any of the following conditions.

  • Chronic back pain
  • Failed back surgery
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome
  • Arachnoiditis

Your specialist at Pacific Pain Physicians surgically implants the device, which is about the size of a pacemaker, under your skin and attaches lead wires to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord. When activated, the device sends an electric pulse to your nerves to decrease your pain.

While results vary, spinal cord stimulation may improve your pain by as much as 70%, and you may even be able to resume some of the activities you enjoyed prior to the onset of your pain.

Am I a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

Your pain specialist at Pacific Pain Physicians determines if you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation during a consultation. While the treatment is effective for many, it’s not usually the first choice for pain management.

You may be considered a good candidate if you:

  • Failed to get relief from conservative treatments
  • Aren’t a good candidate for surgery or additional surgery
  • Have a pain issue that is normally easily corrected
  • Don’t have any underlying health issues that would disqualify you

If you would benefit from spinal cord stimulation, before implanting the device under your skin, your specialist runs a trial. During the trial, the leads are attached to your nerves, but the device is worn on your waist. If you successfully pass the trial period, you and your specialist can talk about permanent placement.

What can I expect during permanent placement of my device?

Permanent placement of your spinal cord stimulator is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia to minimize your discomfort. First, your surgeon places the leads on your spinal cord and then tunnels them through your skin to your buttock area. Then, your surgeon makes an incision for placement of the device in your buttocks and closes your incisions with sutures.

You should be able to go home the same day.

To learn more about spinal cord stimulation, call Pacific Pain Physicians today or request an appointment online.