Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
Spinal cord stimulation is a good treatment option for individuals with chronic lower back and extremity pain that have not found relief from other therapies or who do not wish to continue a regimen of repeat nerve blocks. It is most successful for patients with pain due to failed back surgery syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Types I and II, intractable low back pain, and leg pain. A small device, similar to a pacemaker, is placed within the body.
Once implanted, it sends small electrical impulses through to the spine, masking pain signals from other nerves. This method does not eliminate the source of pain but, instead, blocks the sensation so that the patient feels less of it. The device is programmed to provide each patient with settings that are best suited to their condition. Before a permanent stimulator device is placed in the body, patients are able to trial an external version.
The amount of relief provided varies from person to person and, if the trial stimulator is unsuccessful, it can easily be removed and the patient can pursue other forms of treatment.