Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

peripheral nerve stimulation Texas

Chronic back pain can cause a complete disruption in a person’s life. In addition to the pain, treatment has typically been administered in the form of pain medication, but this option does not work for every patient due to either misuse or lack of long-term relief. For patients who are looking for a better option, peripheral nerve stimulation could be that answer. The Texas Pain Care team in the Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Houston areas offers patients suffering from chronic back pain the relief they’ve been seeking, without medication dependency. Explore peripheral nerve stimulation in Texas for enduring relief with our experienced team.

What are the Peripheral Nerves?

The peripheral nerves are the nerves that extend outside of the central nervous system (consisting of the brain and spinal cord) to the organs and extremities. The peripheral nervous system consists of 43 pairs of nerves that are responsible for motor coordination, sensation and movement. Damage to these nerves can not only cause excruciating and chronic pain that can interfere with a person’s quality of life, but can also be difficult to treat if the damage occurs in the face, head or neck. 

How Does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Work?

Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is a treatment that helps patients who are suffering from chronic peripheral nerve pain. The entire treatment utilizes a device that is implanted next to the peripheral nerves that are believed to be causing pain, and uses a mild electrical current that essentially blocks the brain’s ability to feel pain sensations, replacing those sensations with a tingling sensation. In addition to providing the patient with pain relief in general, the patient can control the intensity of the current, so can manage the frequency and duration as needed. 

When conservative methods haven’t worked to provide needed pain relief, a pain management specialist might recommend peripheral nerve stimulation to treat chronic peripheral nerve pain. 

What Causes Peripheral Nerve Pain?

The main purpose of the peripheral nerves is to send communication signals between the limbs, organs and brain. If the nerves become damaged for any reason, the nerves act abnormally, which can include sending incorrect messages to the brain. These messages could be feelings of pain when there is no pain, feelings of overstimulation, and no feeling at all (numbness), a tingling sensation, and more. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy, and is difficult to both diagnose and treat as it does not respond well to conventional methods of treatment. 

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by several conditions, including: 

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What are the Benefits of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?

Peripheral nerve stimulation has proven useful for treating chronic pain caused by peripheral neuropathy. In addition to providing patients with a low risk, minimally-invasive treatment option, the treatment allows patients to reduce or eliminate their need to take opioid medications for relieving pain symptoms. Additionally, it has shown to relieve pain for the majority of patients who have had to undergo an amputation, as well as reduce disability.

Another main benefit is that there are relatively no side effects from the treatment. Patients are able to manage the stimulation to their liking, and are able to enjoy relief from their chronic pain, without the need for medications (and associated side effects). 

What Conditions Does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Treat?

Peripheral nerve stimulation can treat chronic pain in almost any area of the body, including upper and lower extremities, shoulder, knee, groin, back pain and headaches. Specific conditions that can be treated with peripheral nerve stimulation include:

Due to the fact that nerves run throughout the body, peripheral nerve stimulation is an efficient treatment method because the device can target the specific nerve or nerves that are causing the tingling, burning or numbing sensations, and finally provide the patient with relief. 

What Does the Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Procedure Involve?

The peripheral nerve stimulation procedure is a two-part process. The first stage is the trial period, and if proven successful, the second stage is the device is implanted. 

The patient can opt for IV sedation to relax, but it is not necessary. Once the area is cleaned, a local anesthetic is used to numb the skin. Using X-ray guidance, the provider implants a thin stimulator lead, which is no wider than a strand of human hair, as close to the peripheral nerves that are causing pain. The lead is connected to a small battery that is also placed underneath the skin. 

Once the device is turned on, it delivers electrical stimulation to the nerves. Most patients report feeling a mild buzzing sensation. The entire procedure could take up to an hour and is performed as an out-patient procedure, meaning that the patient is able to return home the same day. 

The trial period lasts for about a week and if the patient experiences pain relief, a permanent lead and battery will be placed. It takes about two weeks to heal after this procedure. 

What are the Risks with a Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Procedure?

One of the main benefits of the peripheral nerve stimulation procedure is that there is a very low chance of experiencing negative side effects. However, with any medical procedure, there are risks, and these include:

It is important to review your complete medical health history with your provider to avoid the potential for any risks or side effects. 

If you are suffering from chronic back pain or feelings of burning, numbness or tingling sensations in any area of the body, and haven’t been able to find relief, peripheral nerve stimulation might be your solution. Schedule an appointment with the Texas Pain Care team in the Sugar Land, Missouri City and Houston areas today so that we may answer all your questions. 

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