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Spinal Cord Stimulation Specialist

Advanced Pain Management

Ravi Panjabi, MD

Interventional Pain Management & Regenerative Medicine located in Castro Valley, CA, Fremont, CA & San Ramon, CA

Chronic pain has a reputation for defying medical attempts to control the pain. When you still have disabling pain despite conservative treatment, spinal cord stimulation may give you much-needed relief. Ravi Panjabi, MD, at Advanced Pain Management has extensive experience using spinal cord stimulation and another option, an intrathecal pain pump, to safely and effectively diminish your pain. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Castro Valley, Fremont, or San Ramon, California, or connect using the online booking feature today.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation is an advanced treatment that uses mild electrical pulses to relieve pain. The electrical stimulation blocks the pain messages traveling through nerves to your brain. When your brain doesn’t get the message, your pain diminishes even though the condition causing the pain still exists.

What conditions benefit from spinal cord stimulation?

Peripheral nerves pick up pain signals throughout your body, then travel back to the spine and go up the spinal cord to your brain. Spinal cord stimulation blocks nerve signals along your spine, which means it alleviates pain from many conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Neuropathy
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Cancer pain
  • Joint pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

You may also need spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain after failed back surgery.

What type of device delivers spinal cord stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulators have three parts: a generator, lead wires, and a controller. The generator, which produces the electrical impulses, is implanted under your skin. Then your provider runs the lead wires along your spine, placing them near the nerves transmitting pain signals.

Your provider programs the strength and frequency of the pulses using the controller. Then you use it to turn the generator on and off as needed.

How can I tell if spinal cord stimulation will work for me?

You have a trial period to learn if spinal cord stimulation will relieve your pain. During the trial, your provider inserts the lead wires, while you wear the generator. At the end of a week, you know if you got enough pain relief to keep the device and have the generator implanted, or if you want the lead wires removed.

What is an intrathecal pain pump?

Intrathecal pain pumps treat chronic pain by delivering medication directly into the space along the spinal cord. The pump, which has a reservoir that holds medication, is implanted under your skin. Then your provider runs a catheter from the pump to your spinal cord.

Your provider programs the pump to release a dose of medication on a regular schedule. Since the medication goes into your spine, you can get significant pain relief from a very small dose.

When the medication is gone, your provider inserts a needle into the reservoir and refills it by injecting more medication.

To learn if you’re a good candidate for spinal cord stimulation or a pain pump, call Advanced Pain Management or book an appointment online today.