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SCS Research



  • I knew I forgot something. Having the SCS has not been without it's own side effects. I now have bladder and bowel issues that can only be explained by the interference of the buzzing at the nerve root level. I have been through all kinds of lovely tests and at this time, I choose to keep things as they are and just deal with the fact that my bladder no long works on its own. Officially medically declared "dead", but I am able to bear down and empty my bladder without any back pressure at this time, so urologist is happy and there will be no intervention at this time. I am partially numb bowel-wise, as well. Along with the constipation that comes with opioid use, I now have portions of my bowel that are not sensing correctly due to the electrical signals coming from the SCS.

    I have also suffered with intense nausea that only let up last month and I could eat very little at one sitting. Since Jan, I have lost 25+ lbs. GI doc, along with all other docs, believes this to be related to the SCS. If you do search GI side effects and SCS, you will see they have happened and in some cases, people had to have them removed. At this point, I am willing to live with these issues to get the life-changing relief I do experience.

    I am so thrilled with the SCS I would love to do a commercial about how wonderful it is, but I would never want to mislead others who aren't quite at that stage yet to risk when there might be other things to do first.

    And, btw, I just read some of your blog. The pain you report on there is more detailed than what was posted here. Based on the blog description, I am more inclined to recommend you try it. Like you, I like details and love to analyze. From your posts here, it sounded rosier than your blog details. For me, my nerve damage and pain just increased with time. I hope you do not find the same. (I am 2+ years out from my last back surgery.)

    Take care,

  • MissPiggy, sorry forgot to answer your question about the TENS unit. Yes, I tried one for many months in physical therapy. The pain the TENS unit caused me I cannot describe. The TENS unit stimulates the muscles which I believe triggered my nerve pain. It was pure agony to endure the time with it and I finally begged the PT to let me quit using the TENS. He dismissed me THAT day, realizing that I had severe nerve problems if that was my experience. He did not want to hurt me any further.

    If the SCS felt anything like the TENS I would NOT be a fan of it at all. The best way I can describe the ScS is this - Have you ever sat in one of those massage chairs at Sams or the salon? And got your whole body buzzing? Well, the SCS feels like you are a massage chair ON THE INSIDE. You are buzzing (for me, hips to toes) every minute of the day. I cannot believe that no one can feel it by touching me. lol Even though they are teeny tiny electrical signals in the thoracic area, it feels like major buzzing depending on the intensity you set your remote control on.

    Hope that helps.

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  • Cheri,

    Another long post and I'll do my best to respond.
    cherish22 said:

    When you get home every day from work, are you in so much pain that you run for more meds, have to lay down, and it affects the quality of your family time? Those are all details I would use to make your determination.
    I live a very choreographed life around work and meds Monday through Friday. This is my favorite time cause I know what to expect and when to expect it.
    cherish22 said:

    Some people are housebound, do nothing, and report pain levels of 5 and above. (me, for example, prior to SCS). You are able to get out and work for a living, and that is awesome. With all the activity you do, you report the pain levels you have. If you were had to stay home in a recliner, would your pain levels go down? I'm assuming so.
    Staying at home sucks. First off, my leg pain is no different no matter what I do and the more idle I am the muscle spasms in my legs get worse. Eventually, the spasms turn into BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK TO BACK ..... CHARLIE HORSES. Recliner's are no longer my friend since my fusion surgery. I'm at my best either laying down in my bed or just piddling around. I'm a strange bird, just imagine what it must be like to be my Doctor.
    The bottom line is that I'm just gathering information so that when I see my Doctor next month we can have an intelligent discussion on where we need to proceed.
  • Hello my old friend! I think we're about 1 month difference in time from when we got our fusions. I knew you were still having problems but I admire you so much for "forcing" yourself to keep on going. I remember you posting about being so excited going on a field trip with your daughter and a school group. I admire the ability to grin and bear it!!!!

    I have a hard time dealing with the fogginess from the meds so I hate taking them, but sometimes they are necessary. I have to say, I have to lay on the couch most of the time, but sometimes I have to put on my big girl panties and do what needs to be done. It hurts like hell, but sometimes, you gotta do it. I'm not listing all my conditions, cuz this post is to you and you know about them I think and it's not a contest, but even with them, I still gotta do some things even though I hurt. My point is that I understand what you are saying about having to work.

    I hope you go through with the trial-any chance of reducing meds and giving you better quality of life is worth a trial. A pain level of 1-3 while trying meds? Try tot he trial. If you were at a pain level of 10, you would not be able to even be on the computer(I hate it when people say their pain is a 20 on a 10 scale, but maybe they can't count and I should feel sorry for them?) It doesn't matter what your number is, what matters is that you feel like you could have better quality of life by giving this a try. You certainly have tried many other options.

    Please keep me posted, I'm here if you need something!

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