written by

Annie Collum, BSN, RN

Annie Collum, BSN, RN is the RIA Senior Manager, Physician Liaison in Denver, Colorado

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January 25, 2022, ,

Spinal Cord Stimulator

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a type of implantable device that is used to send electrical signals to select areas of the spinal cord for the treatment of certain pain conditions. A spinal cord stimulator is a consideration for people who have a pain condition that has not responded to more conservative therapies or other types of pain procedures.

Nerve signals are being transmitted from the body to the brain constantly. This helps prevent injury by making a person aware that something is wrong. Unfortunately, when nerves are damaged, they can send pain signals to the brain even if an injury is not occurring. A spinal cord stimulator can be used to disrupt these signals so that the brain doesn’t receive them.

Why would you need a spinal cord stimulator?

The most common reason a patient will have a spinal cord stimulator placed is because of chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation offers a non-opioid, FDA-approved alternative when other chronic pain treatments have failed. The most common causes of lower-back pain respond well to spinal cord stimulation generally (facet joint pain, SI joint pain and, of course, nerve-related pain, like sciatica, down the legs).

Chronic pain develops when the body’s appropriate response to an injury lasts longer than it should. This pain no longer protects the body from injury but becomes harmful on its own. Chronic pain can lead to problems working, eating, exercising or pursuing other activities of daily life. Find more information on our Services page: https://stage.riaendovascular.com/services/spinal-cord-stimulator

(photos: Rich Coursey, MD, preparing to insert a spinal cord stimulator, spinal cord stimulator)