If you’re living with chronic back pain that occurs day in and day out, you know what a negative impact it can have on your life. Pain medications may help ease the discomfort, but many patients reject the thought of taking pills every few hours, every single day. Many of these drugs also have an addictive potential that can very quickly wreck lives. So what can you do?
Desh Sahni, MD is well-known for his expertise in treating chronic back pain. He’s a board-certified surgeon, one of only a handful in Texas who is trained and has extensive experience in both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery.
Dr. Sahni is also renowned for using the most effective, advanced, and medically sound technology available in his thriving practice, Capital Brain and Spine, in Austin, Texas. And this highly-skilled specialist is quite impressed with the recent improvements in spinal cord stimulators for relief of chronic back pain.
Spinal cord stimulators are surgically implanted devices that have been used for decades to help manage chronic back pain. They don’t eliminate the pain. Instead, they work by blocking the pain signals that travel from the nerves in your spine to your brain. Like closing a door to block noise, a spinal cord stimulator can muffle your brain’s perception of pain.
Many patients have noted helpful results from use of stimulators since their FDA approval in 1989. Unfortunately, previous models only provided minor pain relief for some individuals or created bothersome side effects, such as a tingling sensation in the affected area that many people find difficult to tolerate.
Thanks to continued advances in medical technology, spinal cord stimulators have undergone significant changes in recent years. These innovations have led to improved symptom relief and decreased side effects for many patients with chronic back pain.
Spinal cord stimulators provide very mild electrical impulses (neurostimulators) to block pain signals your nerves send to your brain. If your brain can’t “hear” the pain noise from your nerves, it doesn’t recognize the hurt. And your nerves will never know they’re being ignored. The treatment is safe, doesn’t do any damage to your nerves or brain, and can greatly reduce, or even eliminate, your chronic pain.
The new generation of spinal cord stimulators has proven much more effective in relieving pain and decreasing or eliminating irritating side effects, such as that tingling sensation you might have experienced with the previous technology.
High frequency (HF-10 kHz) stimulation, for instance, eliminates the tingling and provides significantly improved coverage, thus reducing chronic back pain much more reliably than older models.
Dr. Sahni discusses the procedure and aftercare in detail before scheduling the surgery. In general, however, the procedure is relatively quick and done in an outpatient setting.
The implant surgery requires a couple of small incisions: one to create a small pocket in the skin that holds the tiny, programmable generator, and a second to place the medical leads that carry the impulses from the generator to your spine.
The generator is placed in a location that’s easily hidden with clothing, typically the lower flank or hip area of your back. The electrical impulses can be adjusted as necessary if your pain changes or improves.
For drug-free relief from your chronic back pain, schedule a visit with Austin’s top-rated specialist, Dr. Desh Sahni at Capital Brain and Spine. Call the office or click the “book online” button to schedule your appointment.