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Spinal Cord Stimulation

Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center

R. Blake Kline, MD

Interventional Pain Management & Anesthesiologist located in Conway, SC

Spinal cord stimulation has been a part of pain management since 1967. Since that time, there have been many technological advancements, and spinal cord stimulation now helps nearly 14,000 people each year find lasting pain relief. At Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center in Conway, South Carolina, Dr. R. Blake Kline offers spinal cord stimulation trials to help determine if this exciting technology might be an effective pain relief treatment for your lower back, legs, neck, or arms. To schedule a consultation, use the online scheduling tool or call the office today.

Spinal Cord Stimulation Q & A

Which types of patients benefit from spinal cord stimulation?

Many chronic pain conditions can be successfully treated using spinal cord stimulation, including:

  • Arachnoiditis
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

This is not a complete list, as many other painful conditions respond well to spinal cord stimulation. If you’d like to learn more, you can call our office or schedule a consultation online.

How does spinal cord stimulation work?

At the most basic level, spinal cord stimulation uses a pulsed electrical current to stop your body’s pain signals from traveling through your nervous system and reaching your brain.

Spinal cord stimulation does not stop the pain from occurring; it prevents the pain signal from traveling to your brain. That’s why some people find the process more effective than others.

The method uses three components:

  • A battery-operated pulse generator
  • A lead wire connected to electrodes
  • A remote control that allows you to adjust the settings

Spinal cord stimulation is a good option for men and women who want to avoid the side effects associated with invasive surgical procedures and opiate drug therapy.

What is a spinal cord stimulation trial?

Think of a spinal cord stimulation trial as a kind of “test drive.” It offers you a chance to decide if the treatment provides effective pain relief for your symptoms.

During the trial, Dr. Kline administers local anesthesia near the injection site, and you may receive sedation. Next, he inserts a hollow needle into the epidural space surrounding your spinal cord. The needle contains thin wires connected to electrical contacts.

A special type of X-ray called fluoroscopy allows Dr. Kline to guide the needle to the proper position. Once he has it in the right spot, he implants the leads.

Next, you’ll communicate with Dr. Kline to determine if the electrodes are effectively interrupting your pain signals. Your feedback is critical in helping Dr. Kline position the wires correctly.

Next, Dr. Kline connects the leads to an external pulse transmitter that you wear on a belt. A hand-held controller allows you to adjust the degree of stimulation to match your pain level.

During the trial period, you’ll keep a written log of the stimulation settings used and your pain levels. That information helps determine if permanent spinal cord stimulation is the best treatment method for your specific needs. If it is, Dr. Kline will refer you to a spinal surgeon for implantation.   

To learn more about spinal cord stimulation trials, call or go online to make your appointment at Atlantic Coast Spine & Pain Center today.