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Spinal Cord Stimulators for Chronic Back and Leg Pain

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Spinal cord stimulators are used to introduce a pulse of electric current around the spinal cord. The pulses interfere with brain activity and the nerve impulses that make a patient feel pain. The procedure is used to effectively treat chronic back pain by altering the way the brain perceives pain signals. The signals are altered by changing them to a “tingling” feeling.

Implanting the spinal cord stimulator is done as an outpatient procedure, and a trial implant is necessary first. The patient is given a local anesthetic and sedative. The pain management doctor in Florida inserts a stimulator lead around the spinal cord to offer a trial run of treatment. If the stimulator is effective and relief is noticeable, the Florida pain doctor implants a permanent stimulator.Pain Management Orlando

Generally the stimulator battery/generator is implanted beneath the abdominal skin or just above the buttock area. The latest batteries are able to hold a charge for weeks at a time and are rechargeable from outside the skin. The spinal cord stimulator lead comes out from the battery and is placed around the spinal cord.

Once the stimulator is implanted, the patient works with the Florida pain doctor to determine the best possible pulse strength. The patient is instructed on how to use the device at home for maximum relief from pain. There are typically over a hundred possible programming options that can be tried. When the stimulator is in use, it feels tingly and warm. Rather than the patient experiencing pain in the back or legs, tingling sensations are felt.

Why Is Spinal Stimulation Done?

If a patient experiences chronic and severe pain, spinal cord stimulation is an option. The patient may have experienced failed back surgery followed by intense pain. In this case, spinal stimulation is offered when conservative treatments fail to provide relief.

Other reasons include severe nerve-related damage; pain and numbness or chronic pain in the back that does not subside after conservative treatment is provided. If further surgery is no longer an option, a spinal cord stimulator may the best last resort option possible.

How Effective is the Treatment?

Substantial evidence shows that spinal cord stimulators work very well to relieve pain. Patients with chronic back pain, failed back surgery syndrome, or complex regional pain have all been known to benefit from this form of treatment over 75% of the time.

Are there any risks involved?

As with any procedure there are risks involved, although minor. Possible risks may include the following:Pain Clinic Florida

    • Infection at the insertion site
    • Leakage of spinal fluid
    • Mild to moderate headaches
    • Problems with the bladder
    • Scar tissue build-up around the device insertion site or around the electrode
    • Pain that radiates beyond the nerve stimulator’s reach

The biggest risk is it may simply not provide adequate pain relief.

The Florida Pain Network works pain with pain clinics throughout Florida that provide all kinds of options for pain relief. This includes Orlando pain clinics, pain management Fort Myers, West Palm Beach pain management and many more. Visit THIS PAGE to find those clinics closest to you, or call (877) 877-8556 for assistance!

New Study Shows Older Patients also Misuse Opiate Medications

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In the world of pain management, urine drug screening is frequently used to ensure patient compliance and also to protect the Florida pain management doctor in the practice. In younger patients, the concern ispain clinics in Florida over medication diversion along with the use of illicit substances.

One question that has not really been definitively answered is whether or not older patients divert narcotic medications and use illicit substances. A new study recently published by a large urine drug screening company in America shows some alarming results.

They looked at a few hundred thousand samples from individuals over the age of 50 and found that 28% of the urine samples had a non-prescribed drug in it. In addition, 32% of the samples did not contain the drug that was actually being prescribed. And another alarming statistic is that approximately 8% of the samples had an illicit drug in them.

When they broke down the samples that had a nonprescribed drug in them, which included 28% of the overall samples, almost 40% of those contained a nonprescribed opiate medication. One third of those contained a benzodiazepine such as Valium, 14% contained a synthetic opioid, 4% had a barbiturate and 3% had an amphetamine. So this constituted a nice array of nonprescribed medications that are either being obtained from another doctor, a friend, a family member or through some sort of illicit transaction.

pain clinic FloridaWhen looking at the samples that did not contain a prescribed drug, the most common drugs that were not being seen included opiates and benzodiazepines. If a medication is being prescribed and not seen in any drug sample, it could simply mean that the patient is no longer having pain and doesn’t need it, or it could mean that the person is diverting the medication and potentially selling it or trading it away.

One of the most amazing statistics in the study is the samples that tested positive for an illicit drug, which constituted approximately 8%. Over 70% of the time this was marijuana, and 23% of the time it was cocaine. Methamphetamines were found in about 5% of the samples and heroin at almost 2%.

So for anyone who thought that drug testing should not be performed in patients over the age of 50, this study actually shows differently.

If you live in Florida and need pain management, let the Florida Pain Network help you. The network has listings throughout the state for pain management doctors in Florida and clinics who perform both interventional procedures along with handling medication management. This includes Port St Lucie pain management clinics, Orlando pain clinics, Miami pain clinics, etc.

Simply go to THIS PAGE and put in your ZIP Code. The clinics closest to you will pop right up or you may call for assistance 877-877-8556.