Spinal Cord Stimulator Specialist

Rio Grande Pain Team

Pain Medicine located in Weslaco, TX & McAllen, TX

The excruciating back pain caused by compressed or damaged spinal nerves is notoriously hard to treat. That’s why Dennis Slavin, MD, at Rio Grande Pain Team takes advantage of the most up-to-date technology to control your pain. One of the most innovative and effective devices is the spinal cord stimulator, which can continuously relieve your pain for the long term. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator, call the office in Weslaco, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Spinal Cord Stimulator

What is a spinal cord stimulator?

The spinal cord stimulator is a medical device that relieves back, leg, and arm pain by masking pain signals sent from the nerves in your spine.

After the stimulator is implanted and activated, it sends a mild electric current to the specific nerves that are responsible for your pain.

The electric current blocks or masks the nerve signals so your brain doesn’t receive the communication that the nerves are in pain. As a result, you won’t feel pain even though the source of the pain is still there.

What conditions are treated with a spinal cord stimulator?

Dr. Slavin may recommend spinal cord stimulation to relieve chronic spine pain caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Sciatica
  • Narrowed spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

Whether your pain developed gradually over the years or you suffered an acute injury that led to chronic pain, a spinal cord stimulator may finally provide some pain relief.

How is a spinal cord stimulator implanted?

The spinal cord stimulator includes three components: a handheld remote controller, a small pulse generator, and a lead wire with eight to 32 electrodes that deliver the electrical current.

Dr. Slavin implants the generator under your skin, runs the lead wire through the space surrounding your spine, and places the electrodes near the nerves that cause your pain.

After your procedure, you use the remote control to adjust the settings and turn the generator on and off.

How do I know if the spinal cord stimulator will work for me?

If you’re a good candidate for the device, you’ll have a trial period to determine whether the stimulator is effective for your pain.

Dr. Slavin inserts the lead wires into the appropriate area in your spine, but the generator isn’t implanted; you’ll wear the generator on your waist.

You’ll use the spinal cord stimulator for about a week to see whether it works. If it’s successful, Dr. Slavin implants the generator.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator?

You may be a good candidate if you’ve had severe pain for at least three months, your trial was successful, and conservative treatment has failed to relieve your pain. Dr. Slavin will also review your medical history to be sure you don’t have an issue that may prevent implantation surgery.

If you’re ready to finally get relief from your pain, call Rio Grande Pain Team or book an appointment online.