Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Specialist

Athens Spine Center

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Athens, GA

Studies show that more than 80% of spinal cord stimulator wearers enjoy dramatic pain relief using today’s advanced technology. If you’re suffering from unrelenting pain and other treatments don’t help, a spinal cord stimulator trial at Athens Spine Center in Athens, Georgia, could be the next step in your treatment plan. Call the office today to get help from renowned interventional pain management specialists.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Q & A

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

A spinal cord stimulator is a small electrical device that your Athens Spine Center specialist places in your spine. It contains slim wires called electrodes connected to a small generator pack. The electrodes go between your spine and vertebrae, positioning them to deliver electrical impulses in response to pain. You control the impulses using an external remote control. 

Spinal cord stimulators traditionally work by substituting pain sensations with a mild tingling feeling. Newer spinal cord stimulators have sub-perception stimulation that you can't feel or electrical pulses that activate painkilling neurons instead.

Spinal cord stimulators can be very effective for chronic back pain, peripheral neuropathy, post-amputation pain, spinal injury pain, and other kinds of pain that don't respond to nonsurgical treatments. But, spinal cord stimulators don't work for everyone, so you need a spinal cord stimulator trial first. 

How does a spinal cord stimulator trial work?

The Athens Spine Center team uses fluoroscopy X-ray imaging to guide electrode placement. The team affixes the generator pack externally, usually on a small belt. Over the next week, you'll use the remote control when you experience pain. You'll monitor its effectiveness and then report back to the Athens Spine Center team at the end of your trial.

What makes a successful spinal cord stimulator trial?

Generally, if your pain lessens by at least 50%, it's a successful trial. At that point, the Athens Spine Center team may recommend proceeding with a permanent spinal cord stimulator procedure. 

What should I do after my spinal cord stimulator trial procedure?

Instructions typically include:

  • Don't drive the day of the procedure
  • Turn your stimulator off when you're driving
  • Use ice application, in 20-minute intervals, the day of the procedure
  • Use heat or ice for pain relief starting the next day
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers as needed
  • Take oral antibiotics as directed
  • Don't bathe or shower during your trial: sponge baths only
  • Don't lift more than five pounds 
  • Don't bend, twist, or reach up
  • Keep a record of your pain and the stimulator's effectiveness
  • Report fever, sudden extreme pain, bowel, bladder, and other urgent changes right away

You'll return to Athens Spine Center within a week for lead removal and to evaluate your results. 

Call Athens Spine Center to speak with a team member today.

Watch this video here to learn more about Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant.