Neuromodulation – An Innovative Solution to Chronic Back Pain

Patients who are suffering from chronic back or neck pain face constant challenges and frustration. Though conservative approaches may work for some and surgery may be the right answer for others, every patient has different needs.

One form of treatment that patients may not have heard of is neuromodulation. This innovative approach has been around for a while, and has seen tremendous improvement in both technology and outcomes in the last several years. It is one of the most effective ways to use the nervous system to help improve patients’ lives.

The Definition

Neuromodulation is defined as “the alteration of nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus, such as electrical stimulation or chemical agents, to specific neurological sites in the body.” It has been in use since 1967, when neurosurgeon Dr. Norman Shealy first implanted a device into a patient suffering from intractable pain.

The procedure involves placing a device inside the patient’s body, where it delivers low-voltage electrical impulses to the spine. The goal is to interrupt the pain message that gets delivered to the brain.

For patients who are suffering from back pain, a device is implanted under the skin in the back or buttock. An extremely thin wire is then guided to a spot that is just outside of the spinal cord, in the epidural space. Through this wire (or lead), the device sends frequent low-level elect electrical impulses directly to the spine, and the spine then send signals to the brain.

For patients, the only thing they may feel is a mild buzzing or tingling, but the overall effect is a dramatic reduction in the experience of their pain.

Managing Back Pain

For patients seeking pain relief at our New Jersey spine surgery practice, having the ability to manage their back pain through the use of this innovative technology offers several advantages, especially when other approaches have failed to work. The technology is cost effective and because it is minimally invasive, many find it a more palatable option that they are willing to try early in the course of their treatment.

Studies have shown that the devices are not only effective, but also have resulted in a reduction in the need for surgery or potentially addictive opioid medications.

Though neuromodulation may not be the right solution to your particular back pain problem, it is just one of the many tools that our lumbar spine practice in New Jersey has available for the treatment of spinal pain.

For an assessment of what treatment is optimal for your particular condition, contact us today to set up a time for a consultation with one of our professionals. We will conduct a comprehensive examination so that we have a full understanding of your medical history and the history of your back pain, then work with you to find the treatment that will give you the greatest relief in the shortest period of time.

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