Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 27, 2016
Roughly 1 in 5 people in developed countries such as the US suffers from chronic pain, and many of those people have to deal with chronic pain in their lower back. Not only does the condition pose a sizeable burden to patients, but also to doctors and healthcare systems as a whole. We’re constantly looking for new ways to manage, control and treat chronic low back pain, and new research suggests that spinal cord stimulation may be able to help.
According to medical researchers, spinal cord stimulation – sometimes referred to as dorsal column stimulation – could be an effective avenue for chronic back pain sufferers to pursue. A spinal cord stimulation system sends low-voltage electrical stimulation to the spine to block the pain signals via a small device implanted in your body.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Study
In an effort to better understand pain pathways and how they can be controlled and manipulated with spinal cord stimulation, researchers studied numerous contributing factors to the devices, such as:
- Evidence for safety
The team also looked at three different spinal cord stimulation techniques: Dorsal root ganglion SCS, burst wave form SCS and high frequency 10 SCS. After reviewing the data and techniques, researchers uncovered that medical literature supports traditional SCS for chronic pain, but back pain may be best managed with dorsal root ganglion SCS and high frequency 10 SCS. Both those procedures were also found to be safe treatment techniques.
Lead author Paul Verrills said the study findings represent “unheralded evidence that we can safely treat back and leg pain using spinal cord stimulation techniques.
He concluded by saying that spinal cord stimulation has relatively few side effects compared to some other chronic back pain treatments, and it reduces the risks of certain complications.
“Spinal cord stimulation should now be considered earlier in the treatment continuum and not simply as an end-stage salvage therapy.”