One of the most highly advanced options for chronic pain management, spinal cord stimulation involves the application of an incredibly small “current” directly to the spinal column through the use of a small generator. The pulses that the generator emits interfere with the transmission of “pain impulses” within the spinal cord, thereby interrupting the feeling of pain. Similar in concept to a cardiac pacemaker, patients have the spinal stimulator implanted immediately underneath the skin with the use of local anesthetic and sedatives. Before implanting a generator, physicians generally perform a temporary test of the treatment by using a trial generator that emits pulses through the skin (or, transcutaneous placement of temporary leads into the epidural space). Generally, fifty percent (50%) or more of the patients that have the temporary spinal cord stimulator trial can anticipate excellent relief. If a patient receives this outstanding pain relief, then he / she can opt for the permanent implant. Once again, the permanent iimplant is gently inserted immediately underneath the skin above the buttocks or in other areas, and thin coated wires connect the generator to the spinal column. The stimulator allows for outstanding pain control for selected patients WITHOUT the need for extensive spinal surgery (such as spinal fusion or repeat spinal fusion).
The generator produces different pulse strengths as well as different pulse patterns, and patients work with their physicians to decide on the optimal strength and pattern for their individual situations. Usually, patients use the spinal cord stimulator for several hours each day. Most patients report a soothing tingling sensation while using the stimulator, which replaces the continuous feeling of pain.
Spinal cord stimulation treats a variety of conditions, such as sciatica (radiculopathy), failed back surgery syndrome, and other forms of chronic or complex regional pain. Some patients with intractable angina, diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb (amputation related pain), and multiple sclerosis have pursued spinal stimulation on an investigational basis. Researchers have shown that more than half of the individuals who try spinal cord stimulation report pain reduction or temporary relief. Those interested in the technique should discuss the possibility with their physician and understand the risks and potential benefits before undergoing any procedures.
About the Author
One of the most prominent pain management specialists in the State of Nevada, Dr. Daniel Batlan serves patients through his practice: Specialized Pain Management. Dr. Batlan is a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Academy of Pain Management, and The American Board of Anesthesiology. A graduate of The Loyola University of Chicago School of Medicine, Dr. Daniel Batlan pursued postgraduate training in Anesthesiology and Pain Management at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, respectively. You can learn about Dr. Batlan and Specialized Pain Management at his website.
One of the most common procedures utilized by Dr. Daniel Batlan involves the injection of small amounts of cortisone into the spine to alleviate pain associated with degenerative conditions and other ailments. This treatment, along with other services offered by Dr. Daniel Batlan at the Specialized Pain Management clinic, is meant to treat those who experience moderate to severe pain.
Cortisone, one of the hormones released by the adrenal glands when a person responds to stress, is a steroid hormone. When it is introduced to the body’s immune system, cortisone reduces inflammation, pain, and swelling at the injury site. Inflammation of a particular joint, tendon, or bursa can be relieved through a cortisone shot directly into the shoulder, knee, or elbow. Dr. Daniel Batlan also offers epidural, facet, trigger point, sacroiliac, hip and knee, and stellate ganglion injections. After a cortisone shot has been administered, pain relief often begins within twelve (12) hours.
For more information about pain management options, individuals can visit the Specialized Pain Management website at www.treatpainlv.com. This comprehensive website includes extensive information about the field of pain management, as well as the educational background of Dr. Daniel Batlan and numerous testimonial letters from his patients.
In order to treat patients appropriately, pain management physician Dr. Daniel Batlan uses established medical practices. These approaches include: documenting subjective complaints via detailed medical history, establishing objective findings via examination and other studies, assessing a patient’s condition by achieving an accurate diagnosis, and providing a treatment plan to manage pain and its underlying conditions. Some of the treatment techniques Dr. Batlan employs with his patients include the following.
1. Medication Management: In some cases, controlled, supervised medication administration remains the most reliable method for treating pain. Pain medications may include anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, and anesthetics. Additional pain relievers include anticonvulsants, which may relieve nerve pain; disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs); and other agents that may help manage pain from rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
2. Nerve Blocks: Highly effective at relieving multiple types of pain, nerve blocks consist of strategically injected medications that “turn off” pain signals from a given area. Although results vary, for many patients that pain relief can last months or even years. Nerve blocks may effectively treat pain from degenerative arthritis or bulging discs in the neck and back, sciatica, spinal stenosis, neuropathy (including from diabetes), headaches, endometriosis, some cancer pain, and pain associated with internal organ disease such as pancreatitis.
3. Spinal Column Stimulators: These implantable electronic devices treat chronic back pain using electrical stimulation. Units generate electrical pulses to the spinal column via small leads running under the skin. These pulses modify or interrupt pain signal transmission.At his practice, Dr. Batlan tests a temporary device for effectiveness before the permanent device is implanted. The permanent device is entirely placed underneath the skin (similar to a heart pacemaker), and often the permanent stimulator can be inserted in an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and sedation. Spinal Column Stimulation is the most advanced means of achieving profound pain control, and it may be indicated for patients that suffer from single or multiple failed back surgeries, patients that are not candidates for formal spine surgery, or selected patients that suffer from neuropathies such as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YqfmFVlmDE&feature=related
4. Trigger Point Injections: Helpful in treating muscle pain or spasms, trigger point injections contain an anesthetic and, sometimes a corticosteroid. Dr. Batlan uses a small needle to inject these substances into knots of muscle in order to relax them and diminish pain.
5. Joint Injections: Dr. Batlan uses these simple in-office injections to help relieve pain in joints, such as hips or knees.
You can learn more about Dr. Daniel Batlan and Specialized Pain Management at the website: www.treatpainlv.com
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