How Spinal Cord Stimulation Works to Relieve Chronic Pain

Dr. Orlando Landrum, DRG stimulation, Cutting Edge Integrative Pain Centers, Spinal Cord Stimulation, Relieve Chronic Pain

Chronic back pain affects millions of Americans. In fact, back pain is one of the most common health problems, striking 80% of people at some point in their lives. Neck pain also plagues many people, especially those of us who spend long hours working at computers.

Conservative measures such as physical therapy, exercise, over-the-counter pain relievers, massage, and spinal manipulation can help many people with back and neck pain. However, some people continue to experience pain even after receiving traditional treatments.

If you have back or neck pain that won’t go away, Dr. Orlando Landrum at Cutting Edge Integrative Pain Centers can help. He offers innovative treatments such as spinal cord stimulation that go beyond traditional medical options to help relieve your back pain.

A new approach to pain relief

Spinal cord stimulation is a medical procedure that blocks the sensation of pain by delivering continuous low-voltage electrical current to your spinal cord.

Spinal cord stimulation uses a device, called a stimulator, that transmits a mild electric current to the nerves in your spine that cause your pain. The electric current blocks pain signals, so they don’t reach your brain. Although your pain isn’t eliminated, you stop feeling it because pain signals no longer travel to your brain.

Who can benefit from spinal cord stimulation?

You may be a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation if you’ve experienced debilitating pain for at least three months and if conservative treatments have failed to relieve your pain. Spinal cord stimulation can help people with conditions such as:

First, a trial run

If Dr. Landrum decides you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, he begins your treatment process with a trial period using a temporary device.

The spinal cord stimulator device includes several components: a tiny pulse generator, a lead wire with 8-32 electrodes that deliver the electrical pulses, and a hand-held remote control used to adjust settings and turn the device on and off.

During the trial period, Dr. Landrum places electrodes over the nerves that cause your pain. The electrodes are connected by lead wires to a pulse generator that you wear on your waist.

Next, a permanent stimulator

If the temporary spinal cord stimulator provides you with satisfactory relief during your trial period and you’re happy with the results you’re receiving from the device, Dr. Landrum then surgically implants a permanent pulse generator under your skin.

To insert the permanent stimulator, Dr. Landrum puts you to sleep using general anesthesia. He then makes a small cut in your skin and inserts the stimulator just under your skin.

Although it’s surgically implanted, the spinal cord stimulator system is reversible, and the implanted parts can be turned off or removed if needed.

Another stimulation option

Cutting Edge Integrative Pain Centers also offers a pain treatment known as dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation. In fact, our practice is the only clinic in the Michiana area that provides this innovative, groundbreaking pain treatment.

DRG stimulation is similar to spinal cord stimulation in that it uses low-voltage electric current to block pain. However, DRG stimulation works by specifically targeting the dorsal root ganglion, which are nerve cells located on the vertebrae of the spine that transmit pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain.

DRG stimulation is especially effective for people with a condition known as complex regional pain syndrome, a form of chronic pain that can be difficult to treat. Complex regional pain syndrome often affects the arm, leg, foot, or hand after an injury.

Complex regional pain syndrome is frustrating because pain begins with the injury but continues even after the injury has healed.

Relief for people with complex pain

Although spinal cord stimulation works on some patients with complex regional pain syndrome, DRG offers an exciting and potentially more effective alternative. DRG stimulation allows Dr. Landrum to place stimulator leads in a way that precisely targets affected nerves while avoiding unwanted areas of stimulation, which can sometimes occur with spinal cord stimulation in people with complex regional pain syndrome

Compared with spinal cord stimulation, studies show that DRG provides patients with complex regional pain syndrome better relief.

Although DRG treatment has been available to patients internationally for several years, it has only recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States. Dr. Landrum is thrilled to be able to offer it to his patients.

Cutting-edge relief for your pain

Dr. Landrum and the team at Cutting Edge Integrative Pain Centers work with you to create an individualized, comprehensive treatment plan for your pain, whatever its source. To learn more, call or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation in one of our offices, located in Elkhart, Mishawaka, and Bremen, Indiana.

Author
Dr. Orlando Landrum

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