Understanding a Trial Run With a Spinal Cord Stimulator

Understanding a Trial Run With a Spinal Cord Stimulator

If you’re one of the millions of Americans living with moderate to severe chronic back pain, you’ve probably tried multiple pain management treatments with varying degrees of success. Whether your plan was working and then lost its effectiveness, or you haven’t quite found the right treatment to manage your back pain, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of pain.

At Republic Spine and Pain, our team of pain management specialists offers pain management solutions from three convenient locations in Austin, Georgetown, and Leander, Texas.

How a spinal cord stimulator trial works

spinal cord stimulator is an implantable device that consists of wires (leads) and a small generator that sends electrical pulses to the target area around the spine for pain relief. The wires are inserted into the epidural space between the spine and the vertebrae, and the generator is implanted under the skin near the abdomen. 

Using a remote control device, you can activate the generator to release electrical impulses to control your back pain. The trial period allows you and our pain management specialists at Republic Spine and Pain to test the device and make sure that it’s a good option for you.

The trial period typically lasts about a week, and the device is implanted during an outpatient procedure. The main difference with the spinal cord stimulator trial is that the generator isn’t implanted during the trial period. The leads are inserted into the epidural space through a thin needle, and the electrical currents are activated through an external device. If the trial is successful, the generator is implanted in a separate procedure.

That allows you and our pain management team to give the spinal cord stimulator a try without committing to the full procedure if it doesn’t work, or if you decide that you don’t want to move ahead with the implantation. 

When is a spinal cord stimulator used?

Depending on the cause and severity of your back pain, pain management plans usually start with conservative treatments, including physical therapy and medication like nerve blocks and spine injections

Spinal cord stimulators are also used when someone isn’t a candidate for surgery to treat the source of the back pain, or when earlier surgeries have failed or the symptoms have returned.

After a comprehensive evaluation and consultation, our team of pain management specialists will work with you to find the best pain management treatment plan for your health and lifestyle. 

For more information about spinal cord stimulator trials and the other pain treatment services we offer, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics in Georgetown, Austin, or Leander, Texas.

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