Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulation is a technology that aims to reduce pain by electrically modifying (reducing) pain signals in the spinal cord. Spinal cord stimulator leads, with electrodes, are positioned in the epidural space where they can modify pain signals in the spinal cord.
Spinal cord stimulation has been used for pain treatment since 1967. Recent improvements in technology however have dramatically increased its effectiveness, and increased the range of conditions that are treatable, e.g. back pain. Traditional low frequency stimulation replaced the pain with a pleasant tingling sensation. More recent technologies, e.g. high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (HF10) can reduce your pain without the tingling.
“QPain is a leader in the newly developed HF10 technology for spinal cord stimulation and have successfully treated many patients with this therapy who are now completely drug and pain-free.”
Dr Frank Thomas
Before patients can proceed to full implantation of a spinal cord stimulation system, it is essential to undergo a trial. A trial will assess whether the stimulator will be an effective treatment for you. A successful trial is characterised by a marked reduction in pain (greater than 50%, and usually 70-80%), an ability to do more functionally, and often goes hand in hand with a reduction in pain medication use.
The trial involves a minor procedure in an operating theatre under sedation whereby stimulator leads are placed near the spinal cord (in the epidural space), via a needle. The leads are positioned precisely using x-rays for guidance. If the trial is successful, implantation of a permanent system is possible. This system can provide benefit for many years.
Spinal cord stimulation is usually not suitable for persons with lowered immunity (including smoking), bleeding disorders, active infection, or anyone who is pregnant.
What is HF10 therapy?
HF10 therapy is a Spinal Cord Stimulation treatment that delivers high frequency electrical stimulation to effectively manage chronic pain without the paraesthesia or tingling sensation associated with other Spinal Cord Stimulation treatments. It has also been shown to be effective for patients who have previously tried Spinal Cord Stimulation without success.
Clinical studies have shown that eight out of 10 patients with severe back or leg pain experienced significant pain relief after undergoing HF10 therapy.
Spinal Cord Stimulation – FAQ
How will my medications work with SCS?
Many patients will find they can either reduce or stop other pain treatments including medication. If you do require additional pain relief, the SCS treatment can be used in conjunction with your usual medications.
Is SCS reversible?
Leads that are surgically implanted as part of the treatment can be disconnected or removed by your Pain Specialist as required.
Will I be pain-free with SCS?
Everyone experiences pain differently. Many patients who undergo SCS should experience a significant reduction in pain – your trial will give you a good idea of the amount of pain relief you will achieve before you decide to have the fully-installed treatment.
Visit our Resources section to read further testimonials to discover how Spinal Cord Stimulation and HF10 therapy is helping other people like you.
Your QPain specialist will discuss your treatment options and recommend a therapy that is best suited for you. Contact our friendly staff to make an appointment and get back to what you love doing most.
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“It’s vital to work with a physician who specialises in pain medicine to help identify the source of your pain and develop the best method of treatment.”
Dr Frank Thomas