Willy a neurostimulator cure my pain?
A neurostimulator is not going to cure your pain. It can help it dramatically, but the purpose of a stimulator is to mask an individual’s pain when there is no treatment that will cure the problem. While spinal cord stimulators are extremely effective for pain management, their underlying purpose is only to mask pain and not cure it.
How long have spinal cord stimulators been around?
The first neurostimulators were created in 1967, so 45 years ago. The FDA has approved of these devices and they have gone through many improvements over the decades. The improvements have come in the form of better leads, better programming, better generators, better batteries and a smaller profile.
How effective are spinal cord stimulators?
Overall the effectiveness is excellent. Studies have shown that for chronic back or leg pain the overall effectiveness is 62%. However, if the problem can be treated earlier for chronic pain, within a couple years for instance, the effectiveness rises to over 75%.
For an individual who is dealing with chronic pain that has not been helped by significant other treatments, 75% is a very, very good number. There was also a recent study presented regarding cervical spinal cord stimulators which also showed a high amount of effectiveness for chronic neck conditions.
Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator similar to a TENS Unit?
A stimulator is very different than a TENS unit. A Tens unit it is an external device that emits slight electrical impulses through foam pads on the skin. It is placed directly over the area of pain and can work to mitigate pain and decrease the amount of pain medication necessary.
A spinal cord stimulator also works by electrical impulses, but these units are placed subcutaneously under the skin with leads that go right around the spinal cord for maximum effectiveness. Most tens units are not covered by insurance anymore, but are cost-effective and less then $150 or so.
Spinal cord stimulators, however, are covered by insurance and typically cost in the range of $15,000.
Are there risks associated with spinal cord stimulators?
There is a low risk profile associated with stimulators. There is a slight risk of infection along with the risk that the lead placed will shift and need to be fixed. There are other risks of anesthesia and one of the biggest risks is that the pain will not be masked sufficiently.
Overall, the benefit of neurostimulators far outweighs the risks, especially in those who are at the “end of the line” with treatment options.
If you or a loved one is suffering from significant chronic pain that has not responded to Las Vegas Pain Management options, and surgery is no longer an option, let the Nevada Pain Network help you. The Network connects those in pain with Pain Management Las Vegas and Henderson trust.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today with pain clinics in Las Vegas!