Spinal cord stimulation is a proven method used to treat chronic back pain. A small, implanted device, the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a progressive treatment that helps individuals suffering from chronic back pain.
Chronic pain patients who have not experienced sufficient relief from traditional treatment approaches may be ideal candidates for a spinal cord stimulator. The Spinal Cord Stimulation can be recommended by your pain management specialist as part of your individualized treatment plan. Our pain treatment locations are located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
What Patients Are Saying
Everyone at the office is so friendly and helpful.
From Sabrina at the front desk, to Esther, the nurse practitioner who we saw for the appointment, everyone was professional and courteous.
- Maria D.
After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.
- Rashawn JJ
I've been going to the office for at least a year now. Never have I had a poor visit. Staff are friendly, caring and compassionate. All the doctors / NP are Amazing. They actually care about each patients health.
- Debbie Lang
This is an office that exceeded my expectations. The doctor was a good listener and I was impressed with understanding of my pain and symptoms. Highly recommend!!! - Pain and Spine Specialists of Mount Airy.
- Jeanne Wagener
This practice- every member - has been exceptional in helping me to manage sever spinal stenosis. Every care provider ( and I’ve seen most over 3 years) listens carefully and works with me to seek the best treatment modalities.
- Eileen M
My medications are on point and my new injections are awesome! I get my 2nd injection on September 2nd and I can't wait! I couldn't ask for a better doctor than my doctor! I'm very happy with my treatment plan.
- Janeen R
All the people at the practice are very helpful and considerate. Dr. Gandhi listens to what you have to say and then makes his decision on how to proceed with care. Not a lot of doctors today do this so it's a welcomed change.
- Ken S.
I didn't feel judged or anything because I was trying to get help for my back pain. I had a very pleasant experience there to my surprise honestly. I would recommend this office to anyone who experiences severe pain.
- Heather D
Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.
- Nikki Walker
Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.
- Krystal Shaffer
I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice
- Theresa R.
The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)
- NVA F.
Insurance companies can make things complicated. Regardless, I have been treated by Dr. Rao for over 7 years. I receive the utmost respect. Office personnel are caring and friendly. This practice is highly respected.
- Heidi B.
Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B
- Cathern C.
I had been feeling ick and had a fever. I switched to a virtual appointment and was approved. It was wonderful getting to chat and talk about my concerns just as if I was there... A seamless and easy way to be seen if Covid is around.
- HeatherAnn L
They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day
- John H.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Guide
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The spinal cord stimulator is a small device, surgically placed in the spine. The device has small threads (or leads) that are placed in the lower back region, between the spinal cord and the epidural space (the vertebrae). The SCS delivers mild electrical impulses that change and mask the pain signals from reaching the brain. Patients are able to manage their pain symptoms with a small remote control. The stimulator provides patients with a more effective approach to treating their symptoms.
When suffering from chronic back pain, a pain management specialist can help determine the best course of treatment. When other traditional treatment methods have not helped, your pain management doctor may recommend an SCS to better provide your relief. Your specialist will review the benefits of the device and any potential risks you may incur. They will then advise you what the necessary steps will be to have to the device implanted.
Starting the process for an SCS:
Once you decide to move forward and have the stimulator placed there are a few steps you must first follow. The initial part of the process requires you to schedule a psychological evaluation. This psychological evaluation is done prior to determine the emotional benefits of an SCS placement. Some patients may not emotionally respond well to a foreign device being surgically implanted in their body. For those individuals, a surgically placed device may actually heighten anxiety and worry.
Elevated stress levels may negatively impact the effectiveness of the SCS and you may continue to feel pain in the exact same manner.
The SCS requires surgery for placement and use. It is important for all parties involved to ensure the patient is able to receive the best outcome possible.
If the patient is not emotionally capable of handling the placement of the device, they may have greater physical and emotional ramifications to a failed surgery.
The psychological evaluation will be completed by a mental health professional, who will review basic information, medical history, and your struggle with chronic pain. Once the mental health professional has completed their evaluation, and determined you are a good fit, you may move forward in the next steps.
Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial
Once an individual has successfully completed their psychological evaluation, they proceed to a trial experience of the spinal cord stimulator.
Patients are able to experience the benefits of an SCS without undergoing a full surgery. This allows a patient to determine if they will have a successful experience with the SCS in managing their chronic back pain.
The surgeon will place the temporary SCS using fluoroscopy. The trial SCS is performed as an outpatient procedure, and can be done in a doctor’s office or in an out-patient facility. Based on the location of your pain, the leads will be carefully placed in specific portions of your epidural space
The device itself will not be surgically placed in the body, but will have the electrical threads placed. The leads will be placed in the epidural space of your spine based on the location of your pain. The trial will last roughly 3-5 days, giving you the opportunity to determine if the pain symptoms are subsiding. If you experience a 50% reduction in pain (or more) the SCS trial can be considered a success.
The spinal cord stimulator requires a minimally invasive surgery, but a surgery none-the-less.
After a successful trial period, you can move forward to a permanent placement of the spinal cord stimulator. The surgeon will make a small incision for the device and place it for the patient’s comfort. The electrical leads are then placed in the epidural space of the spine.
Recovery from this procedure will take a shorter amount of time than other standard spinal surgeries. Post-operatively, you may resume light actives after a few weeks, with a full recovery after eight weeks.
Your surgeon and/or your pain specialist will monitor your recovery to ensure you have a successful outcome from SCS implantation.
For many patients, the mild electrical impulses that alter and mask the pain signals are a significant reprieve from their previous pain experiences. Instead of pain radiating through your back, the sensation changes to something manageable.
The pain-relieving stimulation can be flexibly programmed for the appropriate therapy to provide a gentle tingling sensation. A mild tingle wins over a pain that radiates. The spinal cord stimulator is clinically proven to provide superior relief when compared to other conventional pain treatments. The SCS effectively treats chronic back pain, allowing the patient to live a quality life.
The SCS has become an ideal solution to incorporate into a chronic pain patient’s journey to relief. Having a spinal cord stimulator can prevent a cycle of pain-suffering-disability-pain in patients. Generally, patients do not want to rely on long-term opioid use. Incorporating a SCS allows a patient to take control of their pain management to fully pursue a fulfilling life. When you’re not held back from pain, life becomes something anyone wants to pursue.
How To Get Started
If you would like more information about the spinal cord stimulator other pain management therapies we offer or our back specialists, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland Locations), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania Locations), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia Locations) and schedule an appointment today.
Treatments We Offer
- Spinal Cord Stimulation
- Injection Therapies
- Medication Management
- Intrathecal Pumps
- Occipital Nerve Blocks
- Alternative Therapies
- Radio Frequency Ablation
- Trigger Point Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- SGB Injection for PTSD
- MILD (Lumbar Decompression
- Minuteman Spinal Fusion
- Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block
- Stellate Ganglion Blocks
Condition We Treat
At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
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