Peripheral nerve stimulation is a form of neuromodulation that can help treat certain types of chronic pain. The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia offers PNS placement in Brunswick, Kingsland, and the surrounding Georgia cities to help patients recover from chronic pain.
What is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation?
Peripheral electrical nerve stimulation, or more commonly called PNS, is a frequently used procedure in treating chronic pain. PNS involves placing a small electrical device next to one of the peripheral nerves, which can then deliver rapid electrical pulses to the afflicted area. This essentially tricks the brain into turning off the painful signals, resulting in relief from pain symptoms.
What Does Peripheral Electrical Nerve Stimulation Treat?
There are many conditions that can benefit from peripheral nerve stimulation in Brunswick. At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we may recommend PNS placement to treat:
- Postamputation pain
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
- Painful nerve injuries
- Intercostal neuralgia
- Ilioinguinal neuralgia
- Pain following hernia surgery
- Lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy
- Lower back pain
- Peripheral vascular disease neuropathy
- Occipital neuralgia
- Pain as a result of hernia surgery
- Trigeminal neuropathic pain
- Painful peripheral neuropathies
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Neck pain
- Post-thoracotomy pain syndrome
- Postherpetic neuralgia
How is Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Performed?
Peripheral nerve stimulation is performed in two phases. In the first phase, your physician will fit you with a temporary trial electrode. This will be left in place for around a week or so to determine if this is placement and therapy are effective. The electrode is connected to a small, external stimulator and the effects of stimulation on your pain will be tested for several days at least. Should the stimulator not help, it will be removed.
If you are happy with the amount of pain relief you are receiving from the stimulator, however, the temporary electrode will be removed and replaced with a permanent one, usually implanted in the patient’s chest, back, or abdomen. This stimulator is then connected to an internal battery pack, similar to a pacemaker battery. Once this is all in place, the battery will be programmed over the following days and weeks to receive a tailor made stimulation that best suits your needs. You may then resume normal activities, including exercise and swimming.
For the majority of patients, peripheral nerve stimulation procedures are performed under local anesthetic.
How Long Does Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Last?
Typically, most patients seem to benefit from peripheral nerve stimulation for several years or longer. You may see a gradual decrease in the benefits over time, so stimulator settings may need to be increased in order to compensate for this. Repeat surgeries have been necessary for a small proportion of patients.
There is little available evidence with regards to the long-term efficacy of peripheral nerve stimulation therapy in managing chronic pain. Many reports do, however, support the view that peripheral nerve stimulation may be helpful with alleviating chronic pain from peripheral nerve injuries. According to research, following the implantation of peripheral nerve stimulators, 60% of patients found they had significant improvement in their quality of life and symptoms.
Peripheral nerve stimulation can be a long-lasting and effective solution to managing chronic pain from a variety of conditions and injuries. To find out if you are a good candidate for PNS placement, schedule a consultation at the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia. We welcome patients from Brunswick, Kingsland, and the surrounding areas.