Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

Central Oregon Spine & Sports, LLC

Pain Management & Sports Medicine located in Bend, OR

If you suffer from chronic pain in your back, legs, or arms that hasn’t responded to other treatment methods, a spinal cord stimulator trial might be right for you. At Central Oregon Spine & Sports in Bend, Oregon, Philip Wallace, MD, offers trial runs of spinal cord stimulators for his patients that are interested in seeing if the device fits their needs and lifestyles. To learn more about how you can find long-lasting relief from your chronic pain, schedule an appointment today by calling the office or using the easy online booking tool.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials Q & A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a revolutionary tool that’s used to treat chronic back pain. It’s a small device that’s surgically implanted into your body (like a pacemaker) and sends electrical pulses to the nerve fibers of your spinal cord. These electrical signals stimulate the nerves in the area where you feel chronic pain, which interferes with that area’s ability to send pain signals to the brain.

Spinal cord stimulators don’t eliminate the source of your pain. Instead, they simply mask or modify the pain signals before they reach your brain, effectively reducing your brain’s ability to process and feel pain. Some devices work with a low-frequency current that produces a mild tingling feeling called paresthesia, while other devices use high-frequency burst pulses to mask the pain without any tingling feeling.

Am I a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator trial?

Spinal cord stimulators can be used to treat chronic pain in your:

  • Back
  • Legs
  • Arms

A spinal cord stimulator is an excellent treatment option if you suffer from chronic pain in these areas and haven’t found relief in other therapies.  It’s also an exceptionally healthier alternative to opioid medications.

Spinal cord stimulators aren’t for everyone, though. The effectiveness varies from patient to patient, and some people don’t like the tingling sensation that it produces to mask the pain symptoms.

Because of this, Dr. Wallace recommends and administers trial runs for spinal cord stimulators. This allows you to test out the device and see if it works with your unique needs, preferences, and lifestyle before you have it permanently implanted.

What happens during a spinal cord stimulator trial?

A week-long trial is a great way to determine if a spinal cord stimulator is right for you and your particular pain’s type, location, and severity.

When you come into Central Oregon Spine & Sports for your spinal cord stimulator trial, Dr. Wallace administers a local anesthetic in your lower back, then uses X-ray fluoroscopy to insert a hollow needle into the epidural space between your bone and spinal cord. He then inserts wires through this needle that connect from your pain-producing nerves to an external generator that you wear on a belt.

After the procedure, you keep a journal that tracks your stimulation settings, particular activities performed, and the amount of pain you feel. After four to seven days, you’ll come back to see Dr. Wallace and discuss whether you’d like to receive a permanent implant.

To learn more about how a spinal cord stimulator trial can help you find relief from your chronic pain, schedule an appointment online or by phone today with the pain-relief experts at Central Oregon Spine & Sports.