Whether it’s chronic lower back pain or peripheral neuropathy in your lower extremities, dealing with ongoing pain and discomfort is challenging, to say the least. All too often, you worry that the road to relief is paved with too much risk, and you want to find a better way.
Here, we review how neurostimulation works and three of the primary benefits of this approach to managing pain.
You feel pain when a nerve in your body signals a problem to your brain, which interprets the signal, and responds with the sensation of pain.
The idea behind neurostimulation is that we disrupt these pain signals with electrical impulses that garble the messaging.
Also called neuromodulation, we offer this approach in two different ways:
We disrupt pain signaling along your spine to address spine-related discomfort.
Your dorsal root ganglion contains cells that link your central nervous system with your peripheral nervous system. We use dorsal root ganglion stimulation to address lower body issues, such as peripheral neuropathy or joint issues (hip and knee pain, for example).
Neuromodulation is a growing field because it relieves pain and offers advantages over other pain management techniques, such as:
If you’ve been relying on opioid-based medications to dull your pain, you’re right to be worried about the risks. Opioid addiction is a clear and present danger — a survey in 2019 in the United States found that more than 10 million people misused prescription painkillers, and 1.6 million had an opioid use disorder.
With neurostimulation, we aim to reduce or even eliminate your reliance on painkillers.
It can be frightening to commit to a treatment plan, especially one you can’t undo or may not return from, such as spinal fusion surgery. With neurostimulation, we can reverse the process at any point.
For example, before we implant a generator, we first implant electrodes and have you use an external generator to allow you to take neuromodulation for a trial run before committing to implantation.
If the trial period is successful and reduces your pain by at least half, we can implant the generator and the electrodes. Even then, however, we can easily pull the device at any time with no lingering effects.
Another benefit is that the neurostimulation is under your control. You can turn it on and adjust the frequency within pre-programmed ranges, allowing you to manage your pain according to your needs.
If you want to continue investigating neurostimulation, we invite you to schedule an appointment at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.