Spinal Cord Modulation

Spinal cord modulation is an effective procedure to treat neuropathic or nerve related pain. Nerve damage could be due to trauma, injury or disease. This procedures helps in relieving or resisting nerve pain.

Spinal cord modulation is used to treat pain that is mostly neuropathic in origin, that is pain that arises from nerve damage and does not serve a protective purpose. The nerve damage may have occurred due to accident, injury or disease. Spinal cord modulation therapy is most commonly indicated in neuropathic back and leg pain, typically seen in 25% of the patients following back surgery.

Increasingly, spinal cord modulation is used to avoid futile back surgery. The second most common indication is to treat the pain associated with complex regional pain syndrome. The third is the pain associated with the peripheral neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage beyond the spine or brain, for instance, from viral infection, trauma, surgery or diabetes.

In this process, the normal pain sensory and processing circuits of the spinal cord and the brain are altered. Modulation not only reduces abnormal pain signals reaching the brain but also restores the normal pain inhibition pathways that may have been lost. This is done by eliciting the body’s natural pain relief substances, chemical neurotransmitter that are used by nerves to communicate with each other. This not only results in reduced pain, but also in the presence of improved microcirculation.

This process does not work on all types of patients with all types of pain. Long term neuropathic pain has a major impact upon measures of health related quality of life.

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