How Does Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS) Relieve Chronic Pain?


What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

A small implanted device called a spinal cord stimulator provides signals to the spinal cord to treat pain directly at the source. Small wires are inserted along the spine and attached to a battery pack under the skin. The SCS is a little handheld device that prevents the experience of pain from reaching the brain. This effective tool can greatly enhance function and quality of life while drastically reducing or completely eliminating the need for painkillers.


How does a Spinal Cord Stimulator Work?

Thin wires known as leads and a tiny battery that resembles a pacemaker make up SCS devices. The generator is positioned beneath the skin, typically close to the buttocks or abdomen, and the leads are positioned between the spinal cord and the vertebrae. The pain impulses are then blocked before they reach the brain by electrodes at the end of the wire lines. In order to reduce pain perception, these signals are altered. This is referred to as neuromodulation.

Is SCS Therapy Right For Me?

To ensure a SCS is right for you, Dr. Farnad may order some imaging tests and a psychological screening.  The psychological screening is sometimes required by insurance companies.

Depending on the case of severity, the ideal candidate for spinal cord stimulation are individuals who haven’t received adequate pain relief with other treatments like medicines, surgeries and various less-invasive treatments. Additionally if you’ve had a successful SCS trial run, you’ll most likely continue seeing great results.

Recovery from SCS Implant Surgery

The spinal cord stimulator implant recovery period is approximately six to eight weeks. During this time, it is important to:

  • Only take sponge baths until the doctor gives you the okay to take showers
  • Watch for swelling or infections
  • Report any changes in stimulation
  • Avoid any physical exertion.
  • Not change any medication unless the doctor recommended

To schedule an appointment at Miracle Mile, call 323.433.7744, or visit our contact page.