Over 30% of American adults report neck pain in any given year, and almost 50% will continue to suffer from chronic or recurrent neck discomfort. Between 20% and 70% of adults will deal with debilitating neck discomfort at some point. Suppose you are a victim of troublesome neck pain; we have a solution for you. Have you heard of spinal cord stimulation? If not, it is neck pain therapy, as discussed later in this write-up.
What Causes Neck Pain
As a result of its widespread prevalence, neck pain is among the top four causes of heart disability worldwide. The other leading causes include cerebral vascular disease, respiratory infection, and heart disease. Each year, around 30% of people encounter it.
Additionally, the neck is not necessarily the focal point. It can spread across your entire upper body, hurting your shoulders, arms, and chest, possibly resulting in headaches. It can be uncomfortable to have neck pain, which makes it challenging to concentrate and get through the day.
Neck pain can be crippling, limiting the quality of sleep, work and spending time with friends or family. There are several causes of neck pain; therefore, to determine the specific cause, you should see a doctor. Some of the causes include:
- Infections such as meningitis and abscesses in the neck
- Degenerative diseases such as arthritis
- Intervertebral disc herniation
- Disc or ligament rupture
- Cervical spinal canal narrowing
- Muscle rupture, sprains, or infection
- Primary cancer in the neck region, including thyroid and esophageal cancer
- Esophageal infections
- Oesophageal reflux disease
Spinal Cord Stimulation for Neck Pain
Spinal cord stimulation is a therapy option for patients who suffer from chronic neck pain. This treatment involves using electric impulses to excite nerves in the spinal cord, intending to disrupt the path that pain signals take on their way to the brain.
It involves using low-voltage electrical pulses to disrupt the brain’s ability to process pain signals. A tiny device producing these pulses is placed close to the spine. Some have referred to it as a “pacemaker for pain” because of its resemblance to a cardiac pacemaker.
What to Expect from SCS Therapy
There are two phases of the therapy: trial and permanent phases. Trial phase test whether the therapy offers pain relief prior to the insertion of a permanent device in the 2nd phase. During the procedure, you will be sedated or put under local anesthesia to keep you relaxed throughout the insertion of the device. Insulated cables or lead are then put in the space surrounding the spinal cord (epidural space). After that, the wires are attached to a stimulator that stays outside your body throughout the experiment. After the trial, the leads are easily withdrawn through the skin with little discomfort.
You will have a permanent procedure if the device successfully reduces your pain and you are at ease with the tingling feeling it produces. The trial process is very similar to this. However, a tiny incision in the back is required to install the leads beneath the skin. A second minor incision is required to permanently implant the stimulator behind the skin, typically in the buttocks or abdomen.
The simulator is typically hardly perceptible beneath the skin. Depending on the brand and how frequently it is used, the stimulator’s rechargeable battery typically lasts 5 to 10 years.
After the Procedure
Complications are unusual. The most common complication is temporary discomfort at the insertion location of the wires and stimulator. It’s quite normal, and your doctor can prescribe pain medication to help you get through the next few days. Infection, bleeding, nerve or spinal cord injury, wire migration, and wire breakage are other possible problems.
The majority of patients can resume mild activities a few days after surgery. To let the leads heal in the right place without moving, it is recommended that you avoid heavy lifting, bending, and twisting for up to two months.
Neck pain hinders everyday life and keeps you from doing what you love. If you have recurrent or troublesome neck pain that may benefit from this therapy, fill out the form below. The team at Haydel Spine Pain & Wellness is here to help you find the relief you’re looking for.