Spinal Cord Stimulation

in Memphis and Union City, TN and Blytheville, AR

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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Chronic pain is incredibly challenging to overcome because it seldom responds well to all the usual medical treatments. But you have hope with advanced interventional treatments like spinal cord stimulation. Thomas Hodgkiss, MD, at Southern Vascular & Pain Management offers this innovative treatment that can reduce your pain by up to 70%. To learn if you’re a good candidate, call the office  today or request an appointment online.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q&A

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is an interventional treatment that uses mild electrical pulses to relieve your pain. 

The electrical stimulation targets specific nerves in your spinal cord, stopping them from carrying pain signals to your brain. As long as your brain doesn’t get the message, you get relief from the pain even though the root cause is still there.

What pain conditions benefit from spinal cord stimulation?

Sensory nerves located throughout your body travel to your spine and go through the spinal cord to your brain. Since spinal cord stimulation blocks nerve signals at your spine, this treatment can alleviate pain coming from anywhere in your body, including your back.

Dr. Hodgkiss may recommend spinal cord stimulation for a wide range of painful conditions, including:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cancer pain
  • Joint pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Chronic leg pain or arm pain
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

Spinal cord stimulation can also relieve angina (chest pain) and persistent pain after failed back surgery.

What is the spinal cord stimulation device like?

Spinal cord stimulators consist of three parts: a controller, a small pulse generator, and lead wires. Dr. Hodgkiss implants the generator under your skin and connects the lead wires to the generator.

Then he guides the wires through the space around your spine and places them near the nerves transmitting the pain signals. As the generator creates the electrical impulse, the leads send it into the targeted nerves.

Dr. Hodgkiss uses the controller to program the intensity and frequency of the pulses. You use the controller to turn the device on and off.

How do I know if spinal cord stimulation will work for me?

You have a seven-day trial period to determine if the stimulator relieves your pain. For the trial, Dr. Hodgkiss inserts the lead wires, but you simply wear the generator. 

At the end of the week, you decide if it worked well enough to have the generator implanted, or if you want to have the lead wires removed.

Am I a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation?

You may be a good candidate if you:

  • Have a successful trial period
  • Have chronic pain
  • Have pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment
  • Pass a psychological evaluation
  • Aren’t able or willing to have spine surgery
  • Don’t have an untreated drug addiction
  • Don’t wear a pacemaker

To learn more about spinal cord stimulation, call Southern Vascular & Pain Management or book an appointment online today.