Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial

Spinal cord stimulator therapy is one of the latest advancements in science used to treat and manage chronic pain. This neuromodulation technique treats chronic pain arising from the lower back, the legs, the neck and the arms after failed back surgeries and complex regional pain syndrome.

What to expect

During this minimally invasive procedure, the physician at Cy-Pain & Spine PLLC places a small electrical lead (a wire-like electrode) next to the affected area outside the spinal cord. The electrode delivers soothing electrical pulses that feel like mild tingles. During the testing period, the electrode is connected to an external device, and if the trial is successful, a small generator is implanted into the patient’s body for long-lasting pain relief. The soothing electric pulses are delivered from the generator to the nerve or nerves using one or several electrodes, similar to heart pacemakers. The patient can control stimulation by turning the device on and off and adjusting stimulation parameters as needed.

After the procedure

Once the procedure is completed, you will be monitored for 30 minutes, and our staff will provide you with discharge instructions when you are ready to go home. You should track your pain during the whole trial period, which will last 3 to 10 days. Please don’t take shower or tub bath during this trial period to keep the trial site clean. You can return to work the next day, but it is always a good idea to check with your physician.

Treatment effectiveness

Published studies of spinal cord stimulation show excellent long-term relief in 50 to 80% of patients suffering from chronic pain. After surgery, muscle and/or nerve irritation may cause you to feel sore for one to two days after the procedure. Following the seven to ten day trial, you will return for a follow up, and the electrode (wire) will be taken out of your back. At this time, you and your physician will determine if this therapy was successful for you. If you receive more than 50% of pain relief, implantation of the SCS may be recommended.