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What to Expect During Your Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial

What to Expect During Your Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial

Today’s interventional pain management treatment offers relief from your chronic back pain. One of the promising therapies that can help with chronic back pain is spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

SCS works well for many individuals, but isn’t the right solution for everyone. That’s why, before your SCS device is implanted, you undergo a trial with a removable version of this treatment option.

At The Spine Group, Dr. Eric Miller and his team provide support to patients with chronic back pain, offering SCS treatment at locations throughout Texas. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of SCS treatment, and what you can expect from the trial period.

How SCS can help your pain

Chronic pain may result from overactive spinal nerves. Pain signals keep traveling from these nerves to your brain, where they’re perceived and experienced. Chronic pain disrupts your life in a number of ways. Wouldn’t it be great if you could settle those overactive nerves down for good?

That’s what SCS therapy does for many pain patients. If SCS works for you, an implanted device sends regular electrical signals to your spine, overriding pain signals and putting an end to your chronic pain. SCS can reduce your dependency on pain medication and put you in charge of your chronic pain management.

Your SCS trial: what to expect

SCS works very well for some individuals, and less well for others. In order to determine if SCS is right for you, Dr. Miller conducts an SCS trial.

An SCS trial can determine if this form of treatment gives you sufficient pain relief. Dr. Miller may also use an SCS trial to learn more about the specific nerves in your spine that are involved in your chronic pain. In this way, an SCS trial can be a diagnostic tool, as well as a potential form of pain relief.

During your SCS trial, you wear an external SCS device on a belt around your waist. Leads connect the generator to your spinal cord. Dr. Miller uses fluoroscopy to ensure correct positioning of the electrode leads in the epidural space of your spine. Only one incision is typically needed for your SCS trial.

The trial period lasts about a week. If your trial is successful, reducing your pain levels by 50% or more, it’s time to proceed with your SCS treatment. If the trial is not successful, all implanted wires can be removed safely and easily.

Completing your SCS treatment


If your SCS treatment proves to work for you, Dr. Miller implants your SCS device in a surgical procedure. The SCS generator is roughly the same size as a pacemaker. Dr. Miller typically positions your SCS generator in your abdomen or buttocks. Electrode wires connect the generator device to the nerves targeted for pain relief.

Your SCS device may be controllable with a remote, literally putting you in control of your pain management. SCS often proves effective for people with chronic pain conditions including sciatica, neuropathy, failed back surgery, and more.

To find out more about SCS, and discover if you could be a candidate for an SCS trial to determine how well this non-pharmacological treatment solution works for you, contact Dr. Miller at The Spine Group. Schedule your initial consultation appointment online or over the phone today.

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