Nearly 50 million Americans are living with some degree of chronic pain. When such pain is experienced in the neck or back, spinal cord stimulation therapy (SCS) may provide welcome relief. Approved for use in the U.S. since the late 1980s, SCS blocks pain signals to the brain with the delivery of small electrical impulses through a device implanted near the spine. Though not for everyone, SCS offers a handful of benefits worth considering.
1. It’s Reversible
Unlike spine surgery, spinal cord stimulation therapy can be reversed if you’re not seeing noticeable results. Once the generator, contacts, and wires are removed, you’ll heal naturally with no lasting side effects.
2. It’s Adjustable
After an initial setting with a Beverly Hills spine surgeon, you can determine how electrical impulses are delivered with a handheld controller. If you’re having a “good day” with little or no discomfort, turn it down a notch. Save the reserve for days when your pain is especially bothersome.
3. It Leads to Less Dependence on Pain Meds
Strong pain-relieving medications, opioids in particular, are only meant for short-term use due to possible addiction issues. Over a third of the participants in one study were able to stop taking potent pain drugs due to the relief they experienced from SCS therapy.
4. It Has Minimal Side Effects
Because of the way SCS works, many patients have little or no side effects once the device is implanted. It’s also a highly localized treatment, so there’s no need to worry about how it may affect other areas of your body.
5. It’s Cost-Effective
Nearly $300 billion is spent annually on chronic pain. Individual costs can be reduced with SCS therapy because it often leads to less reliance on expensive medications. Costs related to SCS are comparable to what’s typically spent on other non-surgical remedies.
Nearly 15,000 people worldwide go through the process of preparing for spinal cord stimulation therapy each year. For patients who are good candidates, SCS therapy may reduce pain by as much as 50 percent and significantly increase daily functioning, according to available research on the procedure’s effectiveness.
Spinal cord stimulation therapy is just one of may procedures designed to alleviate chronic back pain. The type of procedure you receive will depend on the severity of your condition. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, we specialize in spinal fusion and non-fusion spine surgeries that have helped many patients go on to lead a pain-free life. Call 310-828-7757 today to speak with one of our representatives and schedule an appointment.