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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Interventional Pain Management located in Woodstock, GA

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is a cutting-edge intervention for pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments. If you’re out of options for pain treatment, visit James Ellner, MD, at Georgia Pain Management in Woodstock, Georgia. Dr. Ellner is a compassionate interventional pain management specialist who excels in nonsurgical approaches like spinal cord stimulation. Call Georgia Pain Management today or complete the online booking feature to learn how you could benefit from spinal cord stimulation.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q&A

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation offers hope for effective pain reduction in patients whose symptoms persist despite various treatments.

Dr. Ellner implants the spinal cord stimulator device under your skin. The electrical signals the stimulator sends to your spinal nerves interfere with pain message transmission to your brain. You control the signal strength using a remote device to match your fluctuating pain levels.

Why might I need spinal cord stimulation?

You might want to consider spinal cord stimulation if other treatments for a spine disorder don’t work. Conditions that might cause severe back pain include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Lumbar radiculopathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Most patients never reach the stage of requiring spinal cord stimulation because other treatments achieve satisfactory symptom reduction.

Activity modification, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and other conservative treatments work for many patients. Epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, and nerve blocks can help with more persistent pain.

If they don’t work, Dr. Ellner can perform a radiofrequency neurotomy, destroying the affected pain nerves using radiofrequency energy. Only if none of these approaches proves effective for you does he suggest spinal cord stimulation.

Is spinal cord stimulation a good choice for me?

Before proceeding to permanent spinal cord stimulator implantation, you undergo a trial to ensure the treatment works well enough to make the procedure worthwhile.

Dr. Ellner implants temporary electrodes in your spine and attaches them to an external stimulator unit — a pulse generator. After a week, you report on how well the stimulator worked.

If the results are good, you can undergo full implantation. The stimulator sits under your skin with permanent electrodes positioned carefully in your spine to provide maximum symptom relief.

Are different types of spinal cord stimulation available?

Several kinds of spinal cord stimulators are available. Traditional types change the nerve signals from pain messages to paresthesia — a mild tingling sensation that some patients find irritating. Newer ones, like Nevro’s HF10, don’t cause paresthesia.

Radiofrequency spinal cord stimulators are available for patients who are in extreme pain in several areas. They deliver the most powerful electrical impulses. 

Peripheral nerve stimulation is another option if the pain nerves aren’t in your spine. Spinal cord stimulators use batteries that last for many years. You can also get rechargeable systems that last even longer.

To learn more about your spinal cord stimulation options, call Georgia Pain Management or book an appointment online today.