Chronic back pain causes aches and discomfort at all hours of the day, keeping you from getting around during the day and getting to sleep at night. Pain signals that travel from your spinal nerves to your brain don’t let you rest — or stay active when you want to.
Talk to board-certified interventional pain management specialist Dr. Nichelle C. Renk about your chronic back pain this summer. Dr. Renk treats patients with back pain problems from her office at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness in Anchorage, Alaska. Spinal cord stimulation might be the long-term solution you’ve long awaited.
Block pain signals with spinal stimulation
Many of the nerves that relay electrical pain signals to your brain cluster in your spine. When you have a chronic pain condition like persistent back pain, your nerves fire off pain signals even when there’s no underlying physical issue, so you stay in pain for no good reason.
With spinal cord stimulation, chronic pain patients may be able to block the pain signals that continue your discomfort. Here’s how this innovative treatment solution works.
Using a consistent and low-voltage electrical current, your implanted stimulation device intercepts the abnormal electrical pain signals emitted by your nerves, preventing them from registering in your brain. As a result, your chronic pain can diminish or even disappear.
High-frequency spinal cord stimulation and you
At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, Dr. Renk offers spinal cord stimulation treatment with an implanted Nevro HF10™ spinal cord stimulation device. The implantable pulse generator from Omnia™, part of their Senza line, can be adjusted to provide treatment with multiple types of waveforms, including high-frequency stimulation.
Spinal cord stimulation treatment delivered at a high frequency of 10 kHz SCS (HF10) has been shown in clinical studies to be more effective than traditional spinal cord stimulation techniques, especially for pain in your back or leg.
Unlike traditional spinal cord stimulation, HF10 doesn’t rely on paresthesia, which causes tingling or prickling sensations, as part of your pain management solution.
In one study, after just three months following the start of treatment, more than 80% of back and leg pain patients responded to HF10 treatment, in contrast to less than 60% who had similar results with traditional spinal cord stimulation.
Implanting your electrical device
If you’re interested in this treatment option for your chronic back pain symptoms, Dr. Renk starts by implanting a trial device in the epidural space above your spinal cord for about 7-8 days to find out if spinal cord stimulation is effective for you.
You use an external pulse generator attached to a specialized belt during this trial period.
If you notice beneficial results, Dr. Renk implants your permanent device. She also positions a compact, battery-powered pulse generator in a pocket that she opens under your skin near your buttocks.
An implantation session generally takes about an hour, and you can return home afterward to recover.
Dr. Renk takes care to keep you comfortable during the implantation procedure with conscious sedation and a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. She minimizes your incision size and uses specialized visualization technology to keep your procedure as minimally invasive as possible.
Benefits of spinal cord stimulation
Through spinal cord stimulation, you can take control of your chronic pain without drugs or major surgery. And HF10 allows you to use your device at any time, including while you sleep and while you drive. This represents a significant improvement over earlier spinal cord stimulation systems.
This approach keeps you in control of your pain treatment, as you can turn off your implants at any time. You use a special charger belt to keep your device at full power, so you can rely on it when needed. With HF10, you won’t experience any unwanted sensations of tingling as your stimulator works.
To learn more about spinal cord stimulation, and find out if this could be right for you, call now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Renk at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness.