That nearly instant pain you feel when you pull a back muscle is what physicians describe as acute pain. The pain occurs suddenly, and once the muscle heals, the pain usually subsides. Some back problems, however, cause chronic or long-term pain. Chronic pain can occur every day for weeks, months, and even years.
Debilitating chronic back pain is difficult to cope with, and it may seem impossible to manage. Physical therapy, heat, massage, and other conservative treatments often fail to relieve the symptoms. And medications that may relieve the pain, such as opioids, can cause their own set of health problems, including addiction.
So what can you do? Imagine an implanted device that can block pain signals from your nerves. That’s essentially what a spinal cord stimulator does. Top-rated interventional pain specialist Dr. Phillip Lim often encourages patients with chronic back at NuVation Pain Group to consider treatment with a spinal cord stimulator. Read on to find out why.
Why your body feels pain
Your body uses pain to let your brain know something is wrong. As uncomfortable as it is, it can be a lifesaver. It can alert you to a gash on your foot, a serious stomach issue, or a back injury. Certain back conditions require limited movement for a time to enable healing. Pain can often be your guide in those situations.
Other problems, however, can cause chronic pain that won’t resolve with rest and conservative treatment. Some problems that result in chronic back pain can remain stable for some time, meaning the condition isn’t necessarily worsening, but it continues to cause pain. These are the back issues Dr. Lim often considers treating with a spinal cord stimulator.
Thus, the first step in determining whether a spinal cord stimulator is the right remedy for you is making sure your condition is stable and that ignoring your pain won’t cause further damage.
What conditions can you treat with a spinal cord stimulator?
When conservative treatments fail and surgery is not an option, we often recommend a spinal cord stimulation for:
- Herniated disc
- Bone spurs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
Why wouldn’t surgery be an option?
Surgery may not be an option for many reasons. It’s often considered the last resort in treating back problems. That may be due to your overall health. For instance, significant heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and other serious health issues can make the risks of surgery greater than the expected benefits.
It could be that you’d like to put off surgery due to the potential for a long period of recovery and rehabilitation. Or, it’s possible that your condition simply has not yet reached the “last resort” stage. Also, in many cases, surgery won’t necessarily relieve your pain.
Any of these reasons may make spinal cord stimulation a better treatment option than surgery for your chronic back pain.
What are the benefits of spinal cord stimulation?
Along with the simple pleasure of moving through your days without pain, spinal cord stimulation can:
- Increase mobility that’s currently restricted due to pain
- Allow you to exercises so you can strengthen your muscles and keep your joints healthy
- Provide drug-free pain relief that eliminates the worry of addiction
- Return you to an active social life that can lift your mood and overall well-being
- Give you the mental boost needed to look forward to the future
- Restore your ability to complete routine daily tasks
To find out if a spinal cord stimulator is your best remedy for chronic back pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with NuVation Pain Group today.