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Spinal Cord Stimulator

Alleviate Pain

Raviinder S. Parmar, MD

Pain Management Physician located in St Petersburg, FL

An effective way to treat pain is through spinal cord stimulation. Pain medicine specialist Dr. Raviinder S. Parmar at Alleviate Pain uses a spinal cord stimulator to help his patients in Pinellas Park, Florida, and the surrounding area manage chronic pain symptoms and help decrease the need for opioid medications. If you have chronic back, leg, or arm pain, call his office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment and find out if spinal cord stimulation is right for you.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Q & A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

Dr. Parmar implants the spinal cord stimulator surgically under your skin. The device sends a mild electrical current to your spinal cord to stimulate nerves in the area in which you feel pain. The pulses mask the pain signals and prevent them from reaching your brain.

Is a spinal cord stimulator a cure for pain?

The stimulator doesn’t cure the source of your pain, but it does eliminate the symptoms by interfering with nerve signals to the brain. Expect to experience a great reduction in pain to the point that you can resume normal daily activities and lessen the need for pain medications.

Is the stimulator permanently implanted?

Prior to permanent implantation of the stimulator, you may undergo a trial stimulation to see if it does indeed relieve your pain. This trial involves inserting a needle and lead into pain points, but you carry the stimulator externally in a belt. Once implanted, the stimulator is permanent but can be removed in another procedure and will not damage your spinal cord or nerves.

Who is a candidate to receive a spinal cord stimulator?

People with chronic arm, leg, and back pain are good candidates. If more conservative therapies have failed in relieving your pain and surgery is not an option or you would rather avoid it, you might consider a spinal cord stimulator. It’s also an option if you have pain due to a problem that isn’t correctable. Specific conditions treated with this device include:

  • Chronic sciatica, spinal stenosis, and nerve damage
  • Complex regional pain syndrome, which is a progressive disease of the nervous system
  • Inflammation and scarring of the spinal nerve lining, known as arachnoiditis
  • Failed back surgery, also known as post-laminectomy syndrome
  • Neuropathy, especially peripheral neuropathy

Dr. Parmar considers your medical history to determine if you’re healthy enough for implantation of the device.

What is it like to live with a spinal stimulator?

You’re able to regulate the spinal stimulator by controlling the strength and duration of each stimulation period using a hand-held programmer. This programmer also allows you to turn the stimulator on and off, but you can use the stimulator all day and night if necessary.

The stimulator can’t be damaged by external devices, including cell phones or microwaves. You will need an identification card for your device to show when traveling and passing through security.

Prior to receiving an MRI, ultrasound, or another medical test, alert the technician about your spinal stimulator. You should also be wary that massages and chiropractic adjustments can interfere with the placement of the wires.

If you’ve got back pain that’s unresponsive to other treatments, call Alleviate Pain or make an appointment and find out more about spinal stimulators.