For men and women living with chronic pain, spinal cord stimulation can be a game-changing treatment. This is one of many advanced services available from Teddrick Dunson, MD, of Thrive Pain Management in Irving, Texas. If you’re curious about what spinal cord stimulation can do for you or a loved one, schedule a consultation at Thrive Pain Management today. Online booking is available, or you can simply call to speak with a member of the administrative staff.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a type of therapy that uses electrical current to interrupt pain signals between your body and brain. It can be an effective treatment for chronic arm, leg, or back pain, especially among those who’ve had little success with more conventional pain management options or who experience pain after surgery.
The process involves implanting a small device under your skin that connects to an external pulse generator via several wires. That may sound more like science fiction than fact, but these devices have been in use since the 1980s, and nearly 34,000 men and women around the world receive spinal cord stimulation implants each year.
It’s important to understand that SCS does not actually heal the source of your pain. It simply uses electrical current to disrupt pain signals, so your brain doesn’t interpret the pain.
Thrive Pain Management uses the Spectra WaveWriter™ spinal cord stimulation system. Once in place, you can control the system with a remote control. This option is also the first FDA-approved SCS device to use paresthesia-based and sub-perception therapy.
Paresthesia-based therapy replaces the pain signal with a fluttering or tingling sensation, while sub-perception therapy delivers no sensation at all. You can choose between these options with your remote, as well as turn the electric current up or down.
This is the process to determine if spinal cord stimulation is an effective solution for your specific type of pain. Unlike surgery or so many other treatment types, you have the opportunity to take spinal cord stimulation for a trial spin before you commit.
The first step is a local anesthetic to numb your lower back. Dr. Dunson uses X-ray fluoroscopy to guide a needle to the epidural space between your spinal cord and vertebral column. He inserts a trial lead, positioned near specific nerves, with wires that connect to an external generator.
You wear the trial SCS device for a period of time, logging your pain levels to chart the effectiveness of the therapy. When you return for your next visit, you discuss your experience with Dr. Dunson and determine if this is the right path to pursue. If so, he implants a permanent SCS device.
Thrive Pain Management offers in-office trials, giving you the chance to try spinal cord stimulation without having to travel to a different location, which is much more cost-effective. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn more.