A two-step screening process is typically used to determine whether a person is a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation. The first step is based on the person’s medical condition and begins with a thorough assessment by the doctor.
Chronic Pain Conditions Treated with Spinal Cord Stimulation
A general condition known as failed back surgery syndrome is one of the most common reasons spinal cord stimulation is used. This relates to chronic pain after one or more back or neck surgeries fails to alleviate persistent low back pain, leg pain (sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy) or arm pain (cervical radiculopathy).
The therapy also has the potential to alleviate pain related to the following conditions:
- Arachnoiditis, painful inflammation and scarring of the meninges (protective layers) of the spinal nerves
- Chronic back pain with or without leg pain
- Chronic neck pain with or without arm pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic progressive disease characterized by severe pain and swelling
- Peripheral neuropathy, a constant burning pain of the legs caused by the most distant nerves dying off
- Complex regional pain syndrome (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), a progressive disease of the nervous system in which patients feel constant burning pain
- Refractory angina, which causes chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue
Spinal cord stimulation is recommended for an increasing number of painful health problems, this is not a comprehensive list of conditions the therapy may help.
If the person fits the criteria for spinal cord stimulation, the doctor will arrange a trial period—the second step in the screening process—to see how well the temporary therapy eases the individual’s pain.
For more information on spinal cord stimulation, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.