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What Can I Expect During a Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial?

Could you benefit from a long-term, non-pharmacological interventional pain management solution for health issues like chronic back pain? Spinal control stimulation (SCS) often provides effective, patient-controlled pain management results.

Dr. Nichelle Renk and the team at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness of Anchorage, Alaska, focus on pain management that really works. To ensure that an implanted SCS system is right for you, Dr. Renk first guides you through an SCS trial.

If the treatment interests you, here’s essential information on what you can expect during an SCS trial and how Dr. Renk determines if SCS works for you.

Learning more about SCS

Your spinal cord contains major nerves that transmit pain signals to your brain. SCS treatment overrides chronic pain stimulation, providing long-term relief for many patients. SCS lets you rely less on pain medications while still enjoying symptom relief.

When you know that SCS sufficiently reduces or relieves your pain, Dr. Renk implants a small electrical generator for your ongoing SCS treatment, typically in your buttocks. Then, you control your ongoing SCS therapy with a handheld remote device.

At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, we use the Nevro HF10® spinal cord stimulation device, offering you top-of-the-line pain management.

Your SCS trial

Before implanting your SCS device, Dr. Renk makes sure this form of treatment works effectively for you. Not all patients get the same relief from SCS, so it’s important to conduct a trial, typically lasting about 7-8 days, to see how you may be able to benefit.

For the trial, it’s necessary to insert temporary electrode wires into the epidural space around your spine using a hollow needle. 

You rest on your stomach while Dr. Renk performs the insertion. She numbs the area with a local anesthetic before placing the electrodes and uses live X-ray imaging to position them in exactly the right place.

During your SCS trial, Dr. Renk equips you with a temporary generator device, typically worn around your waist with a specialized belt. The generator attaches to the temporary electrodes in your body, allowing you to try stimulating the area with low-voltage electricity.

After the trial is complete, Dr. Renk reviews your pain relief experience and helps you determine if you should keep moving forward with SCS treatment. If the trial doesn’t do enough to resolve your pain symptoms, it might make more sense to explore other types of treatment for you.

Relieving your chronic pain with SCS

Chronic pain often puts your nerves in a state of ongoing overstimulation. With the gentle, low-voltage electrical current in your SCS device, you create a barrier that protects you from nerve-related pain symptoms.

SCS treatment may relieve chronic pain in your back, neck, legs, or arms. Implanting your long-term device takes only about an hour and requires just light sedation, so you can return home right after your SCS procedure.

To find out more about what SCS treatment could mean for you, contact Dr. Renk at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness today. To schedule your initial consultation, book online or over the phone now.

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