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possible spinal cord stimulator

kimmeamkkimmeam Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Chronic Pain
I have been offered a trial spinal cord stimulator. I went to my Dr. today & told him that the reduced meds are killing me, I can not function in so much pain. He told me that I would now have to see a pain management specialist as there was nothing else he could do for me.
I then asked if I could get a tens unit. I really liked it at P/T. He wrote a prescription for it & said that my insurance will cover it. Then he told me about the spinal cord stimulator. He gave me a booklet & dvd (haven't watched the dvd yet), told me to research it on the internet & find out everyting I can. When I see him next month I can let him know if I want to try. He only does the trials & will be sent to a surgeon to have the permanent one implanted if I choose. It will be a 3 day trial, within those 3 days I will know if it's something that I want permanently. I was a bit puzzled as he said that it will only help with arm & leg pain & not the neck pain. My neck & shoulders & back are where most of the pain is all the time. I'll see what I can find here in the forums. I'm sure my questions will be answred here.
I am willing to try anything for some relief.
He took me off the flexeril as I think that is what has caused so much stomache pain. I intended to ask to be able to take more meds as the reduced shedule is so horribly painful. I didn't though. I will call him tomorrow & beg.
Any input on the spinal cord stimulator & or tens?


  • i use the acticare unit .its the only TENS with an external SCS {no nasty surgery} and i find that it helps but i still require my pain killers .i was not suitable for a SCS because of my spinal problems .i would just like to warn you that even with a SCS you will probably still require your pain killers .i know plenty of people that have had a SCS and they still use there pain killers because they are still in pain .talk to as many people as you can about the SCS before you decide its a big decision and it no picnic having it installed and dont for get that you will have to go through maintenance for the rest of your life {battery replacement and possible electrode replacement or repositioning } so its not for the faint of hart! good luck
  • kimmeam, there are quite a few of us on this board that have the implanted SCS and a lot of actual experience shared. Just type "SCS" in the search box at the top of the page and you'll get a ton of threads :)))

    The trial procedure is usually not much more invasive than a run of the mill epidural injection. There's a bit more variation with the permanent placement, depending on the type of leads you have. For me, personally, any pain from the procedures has been far outweighed by the benefits of the control the SCS gives me.
  • I have an SCS that covers some of my neck pain. Just the side and not the back. It covers almost all of my arm pain. Works great for that. I have really bad pain in my shoulder blade and the SCS does not touch that pain at all. I have learned to be grateful for the areas I get relief in. I always believe that less pain is better. I do take medicine along with using the SCS. I never turn mine off. I love it. I will be leaving for the hospital soon to get another permanent SCS implanted to control my occipital pain. The recovery is not easy but it is worth it.
    The trial is easy and not painful. Good luck, I wish you all the best!

  • You really have to try the scs to get an understanding of the sensation and what it will or will not do for you! I have had mine in for almost two months and am just now finding some settings that drive the coverage in deeper and block the pain better than I thought!

    Mine is a single lead cervical placement and with that one lead I can slow down the pulse rate and crankup the level. I can give myself the sensation of a full body massage :D Both sides, neck to toes!

    WOW. I had not found this setting till about 10 minutes ago...I am happy again, this is sooooo cool.

    Sometimes I am frustrated with the SCS, sometimes it is my best friend...I guess that is how most best friends can be!

    I want to edit and add that I really did not 100% have total coverage during the trial. they shoot for 50-80% relief. Anything else is gravy, not a cure, just an additional form of treatment. For some people it is an earth shattering difference in the lives.

    Even if mine were to stop doing what it is doing for me today. I would not regret trying it. That is all we can do with most things in our lives, try.
  • I have a cervical SCS with 2 percutaneous leads and I get coverage of my head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands on both sides.

    Straker is right, this is not something to go into thinking it is a cure all and is hands free. Many people continue to take pain meds even after getting an SCS. I do not take narcotic pain meds but take anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmotic meds. With the combination and the SCS, I am quite comfortable on the grand scheme of things and can go about my life.

    I found that a external TENS unit did not help me, in fact it made things much worse. However the SCS has been a blessing and works wonderfully for me.

    The one thing that I try to express to anyone who is considering an SCS, is the fact that if there were any other way to treat my pain other than the SCS, I would have taken it! If there were a surgery or any conventional treatment that would help, I'd take it before settling with an SCS. SCS technology is fantastic and getting better and more and more doctors are getting into the business of implants, but that doesn't mean it's a magic pill that will solve all ills.

    Best of luck,

  • I had a trial inserted and it did not work for me. Having the electrical stimuation inside my body was aggravating. Also when I shut it off it gave me like a deflating feeling all over my lower body and then left my legs weak.

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