The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved the use of low-frequency spinal cord stimulation in 1989 and went on to approve high-frequency stimulation in 2015. Today, 14,000 patients around the world turn to spinal cord stimulation every year to relieve chronic, hard-to-treat back and neck pain.
To better understand how spinal cord stimulation works, it helps to understand how your nervous system functions. One of your spine’s primary responsibilities is to provide the primary pathway for your central nervous system from your brain to every region in your body, and back again.
When there’s a problem with your nerves, the messages relayed back and forth between the problem and your brain are usually ones of pain.
Spinal cord stimulation delivers a small amount of electricity to disrupt this communication, preventing your brain from receiving the pain signal.
Dr. Bertram uses spinal cord stimulation to treat a host of nerve and spine issues, especially those that are unresponsive to other treatments, such as:
To see whether you’re responsive to spinal cord stimulation, Dr. Bertram starts with a trial run in the targeted area.
For this test, he inserts wires, which connect to an exterior transmitter. Dr. Bertram performs this procedure while you’re awake, under local anesthesia, to ensure proper placement of the wires into your epidural space.
For the next several days or week, you control the level of stimulation to find one that works best for you.
Should your trial run prove successful in alleviating your pain, Dr. Bertram takes the next step and inserts a more permanent transmitter under your skin.
High-frequency spinal cord stimulation is relatively new, having received FDA approval in 2015, and it shows great promise in managing pain without resorting to pain medications or surgery. It’s also highly reversible — if the therapy doesn’t work, Dr. Bertram simply removes the wires and transmitter.
To learn more about the benefits of spinal cord stimulation, call Martin Bertram, MD, or book an appointment online.
At Martin Bertram, MD, we accept several insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.