An incredible 80% of Americans experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, and 20% go on to struggle with chronic problems. By its very nature, back pain has a widespread impact on your life. Not only does the discomfort wear you down, it can limit your life in significant ways, keeping you from the activities you enjoy.
At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, as our name suggests, our goal is to help our patients in and around Anchorage, Alaska, overcome debilitating pain so they can get back to their active lives. Led by board-certified interventional pain management physician and anesthesiologist Dr. Nichelle Renk, we offer the most cutting-edge tools available, including spinal cord stimulators, which are helping chronic back-pain sufferers get the relief they so desperately need.
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, here’s how a spinal cord stimulator can help.
The problem of back pain
Chronic back pain can be an extremely tough condition to pin down and treat, largely because it involves highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots that travel through and branch out from your spine.
This means that the nerves in your back have a direct line to your brain, transmitting signals that are instantly translated into, well, pain. Often, chronic back pain stems from degenerative diseases or old injuries that didn’t heal properly, and these pain pathways are well-worn.
While medications can provide you with short-term relief, they can come at a price, including reliance on painkillers.
To stop the pain at its source, Dr. Renk and our team have had great success with spinal cord stimulation (SCS), which is an innovative procedure in which we disrupt the pain signals.
Interrupting the signal
SCS is a technique in which we deliver mild electrical pulses into the nerves along your spinal column to disrupt, modify, or block their signals. To accomplish this, we turn to the industry-leading Nevro HF10®, which helps 4 out of 5 users experience meaningful and long-term relief from back and leg pain.
To determine whether the Nevro HF10 is right for your chronic back pain, we first conduct a trial in which Dr. Renk inserts electrodes into the area she believes houses the nerves responsible for your pain. Using an external generator, we test whether we’ve located the right nerves for 3-8 days.
If you experience relief, Dr. Renk then inserts a more permanent setup, again placing electrode wires into the epidural space where your pain originates. She then inserts a tiny generator just under your skin in your buttocks and connects the wires.
With the stimulator in place, you can enjoy pain relief 24/7, simply recharging the small generator with a special belt as you go.
The advantages of the Nevro HF10
There are many advantages to approaching chronic back pain through SCS. First, you’re no longer reliant on medications, which can impair your function. With the Nevro HF10, you can sleep, eat, drive, play, and work as you normally would.
The battery in the Nevro HF10 also lasts up to 10 years, which means you can enjoy long-term relief before returning for a replacement.
Patients also report that the Nevro HF10 doesn’t lead to a tingling sensation as some other stimulators do. The unit works quietly and efficiently, preventing your brain from receiving pain signals.
If you’d like to explore whether the Nevro HF10 spinal cord stimulator is right for you, please contact us at 907-313-2976.