Ongoing and uncontrolled pain has a deteriorative effect on virtually all aspects of an individual’s life. Besides interfering with your physical capabilities, it is often a cause of anxiety and depression. There are different treatments to relieve pain, electrical stimulation being one of the therapies. Usually, physicians recommend non-surgical options like pain prescription medication, physical therapy, and trigger point injections. If you have exhausted all non-surgical pain relief options, you may discuss neuromodulation surgery Marina Del Rey with your specialist to understand how this therapy can benefit you.
Neuromodulation is a medical technique that utilizes the power of electrical impulses for therapeutic benefits. During the neuromodulation procedure, a surgeon implants a pulse generator in your body to alter the activity of specific pathways in the nervous system. Besides pain relief, neuromodulation can treat and stimulate damaged nerves, reducing symptoms and restoring motion and functioning to particular body systems. The most recent advances allow devices to control the nerves, allowing people to send messages from the brain to limbs and enable these prosthetics to move like actual limbs.
How does neuromodulation work?
Neuromodulation works in different ways; medication or pharmaceutical agents are delivered to a specific area in one form of therapy. The targeted regions respond without affecting other body systems, and the medication does not need to be metabolized.
The implanted device or pulse generator actively stimulates specific nerves to manifest a response by applying electrodes to the brain or specific nerves. Weak electrical currents alter the pain signals along the pathways, replacing them with a tingling sensation.
How should I prepare for neuromodulation?
Usually, neuromodulation is offered on a trial basis; if you do not experience significant pain relief, a permanent system may not be necessary. As with any surgical procedure, an initial consultation is needed to know what treatment entails and establish if you are a good candidate. Neuromodulation is not one treatment; it comprises different therapies like spinal cord stimulation, DRG stimulation, and peripheral nerve stimulation. Your specialist is best positioned to determine the right solution for you based on your condition and pain location. Health professionals caution against spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve field stimulation therapy for patients who have:
- Untreated bleeding disorders
- An infection at the site where the device needs to be implanted
- Untreated drug addiction issues
- Depression or any other psychiatric condition that could contribute to the pain.
Neuromodulation does not require a large incision and is usually an outpatient procedure. Most of the time, local anesthesia is enough to make a patient comfortable during the process. During surgery, your surgeon places an electrode in a location optimal for you. Once in place, the electrode generates a weak electrical current that interrupts pain signals. The process is usually effective, well-tolerated, and can be used to treat different types of chronic pain.
For example, spinal cord stimulation involves placing an electrode in the epidural space; it is mainly used to treat back pain after surgery. In peripheral nerve stimulation, the electrode sends electrical currents to the nerves in your brain and spinal cord; this form of therapy may be effective for neuralgia and other types of pain.
You do not have to keep up with chronic pain. Consult your doctor at Ali H. Mesiwala, MD, FAANS, to know whether neuromodulation is the proper treatment.