Spinal Cord Sitmulation – Frequently Asked Questions

Spinal Cord Stimulation implant placement illustrationAt Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we continually strive to pursue the most advanced treatments for patients with chronic pain. 

Spinal Cord Stimulation has been an increasingly popular and effective drug-free alternative. Today we are going to review and answer some of our most frequently asked SCS questions!

 

  1. How do I know if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will work for me?
  2. What does spinal cord stimulation feel like?
  3. Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?
  4. Will spinal cord stimulation eliminate other sources of pain?
  5. Is spinal cord stimulation a new therapy?
  6. Is spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain covered by my insurance?

 

How do I know if spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will work for me?

The first step is to meet with a Twin Cities Pain Clinic provider to discuss your pain and treatment history. You will review details such as the type of pain, its severity, and your response to past pain treatment. If your provider thinks you are a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation, you can complete a trial to see if it will provide adequate pain relief.

What does spinal cord stimulation feel like?

Your stimulation level can be adjusted to deliver your preferred sensation and pain relief. With some device brands and settings, you may feel a slight tingling sensation, called a paresthesia. in some instances you will not feel anything at all!

Will spinal cord stimulation therapy completely eliminate my chronic pain?

Typically, most people experience significant and sustained reduction in chronic pain. However, spinal cord stimulation does not eliminate the source of pain, so the amount of pain reduction can vary from person to person. Spinal cord stimulation therapy is not a cure for chronic pain, but rather a therapy to help manage your pain.

Will spinal cord stimulation eliminate other sources of pain?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is specially designed to target nerves primarily associated with back and neck pain. As such, SCS will not provide relief from other types of pain such as headaches, stomachaches, fractures, etc.

Is spinal cord stimulation a new therapy?

It is not! Spinal cord stimulation was introduced as a treatment for chronic pain back in the late 1960s and was officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1984. However, recent technological breakthroughs have resulted in spinal cord stimulators that are significantly more effective and can fit in the palm of your hand, with room to spare.

Fun fact: The basic theory of electrical stimulation of the nervous system goes all the way back to ancient Rome!

Is spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain covered by my insurance?

Spinal cord stimulation therapy is covered by most insurance carriers. As with the majority of pain treatments, you will need an approval from your insurance company before you can receive a SCS for your chronic pain. Insurance carriers usually require you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Medicare – Spinal cord stimulators are approved for coverage by Medicare, as long as the procedure is determined to be medically necessary. Medicare usually requires you to try conservative treatments first, such as physical therapy.

Workers’ Compensation – Most workers’ compensation carriers cover SCS with an approval before treatment.

 

Still have questions?

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