Learn about Spinal Cord Stimulation and Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Stimulation and see if it is a treatment option right for your specific condition.
For patients with chronic pain in their back and or limbs who have not found pain relief from other treatments, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has become a standard treatment. Spinal cord stimulation helps mask pain by blocking pain signals before they reach the brain. Many patients report a 50 to 70% reduction in overall pain leading to the decrease of or stop taking of painkillers or other pain medications. Stimulation is delivered to the spinal cord via a small device implanted in the body. These devices are similar in function and appearance to cardiac pacemakers, except that the electrical pulses are sent to the spinal cord instead of the heart. These “pacemakers for pain” interrupt the pain signals’ pathways to the brain by delivering low intensity electrical pulses to trigger selective nerve fibers along the spinal cord with a different feeling described as a gentle massaging sensation or simply the absence of pain.
By using a sophisticated array of transmitters to emit electrical energy, one can control and even eliminate pain at the level of the spinal cord from any number of causes:
DRG Stimulation refers to the stimulation of the Dorsal Root Ganglion which lies at the root of each spinal nerve. When an individual experiences pain the signals travel trough the dorsal root ganglion prior to entering the spine on the way to the brain. DRG stimulation works in much the same way as Spinal Cord Stimulation by delivering electrical impulses to disrupt pain signals. The difference with DRG is that DRG targets specific points on the spinal cord that transmit pain rather than a general area. This is accomplished by placing leads directly over the DRG for targeted pain relief.
The successes with DRG are astounding and are a huge improvement over the already immensely successful traditional spinal cord stimulation systems. Patients trialed with DRG stimulation have a greatly improved chance of success with much better pain relief.
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