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Why a Spinal Cord Stimulator May Be the Answer to Your Chronic Back or Neck Pain

Chronic back or neck pain can affect your quality of life in many ways. Whether you have mild or severe discomfort, it can interfere with your ability to work, stop you from sleeping well, cause you to miss out on your favorite activities, or even prevent you from going on outings with your friends and family.

At Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute in Plainsboro Township and Manalapan, New Jersey, Ronak D. Patel, MD, and our team specialize in pain management. If you have chronic back or neck pain and your nonsurgical treatments haven’t worked, then a spinal cord stimulator might be your answer.

Spinal cord stimulation explained

Spinal cord stimulation occurs when we surgically implant a spinal cord stimulator under your skin. The device consists of very thin wires or electrodes that we place between your spinal cord and vertebrae, which are attached to a battery pack that you control.

When you turn it on, you can increase or decrease the amount of stimulation you want, targeting the affected areas. Your remote control can be programmed to reach specific places that have pain. It also has settings that we customize for you, so you manage how the device works.

While you might think that the spinal cord stimulator takes your pain away, that’s not the case. Instead, its electrical pulses intercept the pain signals that travel to your brain. 

How to know if you’re a candidate

Our team gives you a comprehensive exam to determine your pain level, analyze your treatment history, and learn about your emotional stability. 

A spinal cord stimulator might be right for you if:

Before committing to the surgical procedure, we perform a trial run by placing the electrodes on the affected areas with a needle. The wires are attached to a device that you control and we monitor you for several days and make changes to ensure it’s working effectively.

If you experience at least a 50% reduction in pain, then we can surgically implant your spinal cord stimulator. If you choose the non-rechargeable battery option, replacement needs to happen every 2-5 years, depending on its use. If you get the rechargeable battery system, it can last 8-10 years before needing replacement.

To find out if spinal cord stimulation is right for you, call or request your appointment online with Dr. Patel and our team today. You can also send us a message if you have any questions before you come in.

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