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Spinal cord stimulation (SCS), also called neurostimulation, disrupts the electrical signals that travel between the nerves of the body up the spinal cord to the brain. This disruption in the dorsal column of the spinal cord interrupts these signals as they travel to the brain, which theoretically should result in less perceived pain by the individual. This medical technology has been utilized for approximately 60 years. SCS is done with an electronic medical device that uses special wires called “leads,” which are placed into the epidural space adjacent to the dorsal column of the spinal cord. The neurostimulator device has many ways of sending out signals to disrupt the pain signals traveling up to the brain; some ways that are not overtly noticeable, others that work in a fashion that may cause a slight tingling sensation that the individual may perceive. The device is completely controlled by you, allowing complete adjustment of the level of stimulation: ON --> OFF --> UP --> DOWN in intensity.
The best candidates for neurostimulation using SCS therapy are patients living with chronic, intractable, nerve related pain after they have “failed” conservative therapy (physical therapy, osteopathic manipulation/chiropractic care, acupuncture, medications, injections or surgeries, etc.). You often have an “overactive” nervous system that has many irritated nerves that inappropriately fire electrical impulses to the brain despite any significant injurious pathology.
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