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The neuromodulation team at Weill Cornell Medicine includes specialized physicians and researchers from the Pain Medicine and Neurosurgery departments. It is one of the largest and busiest in New York City.
Spinal cord stimulation is the most common type of neuromodulation, a technique used to treat pain in the back and lower extremities (legs and feet) by directly stimulating the nervous system with electrical signals.
A device consisting of electrical leads, implanted battery, and a remote programmer, delivers electrical current in therapeutic doses to the spinal cord. It can be thought of as a pacemaker for the spine, and promotes pain relief with less medication.
Advantages of Spinal Cord Stimulation
Neuromodulation and spinal cord stimulation have been proven to be safe and effective for managing chronic pain, including pain after spine surgery.
The two central advantages of spinal cord stimulation are:
- Spinal cord stimulators can be placed on a trial basis. You can use a temporary stimulator device at home for five to seven days before deciding to undergo a permanent implantation.
- The need for oral pain medications is lessened or eliminated.
Spinal cord stimulation has many other benefits, including:
- Significant and sustained reduction in back and extremity pain
- Improved ability to function and participate in activities of daily living
- Reversible and nondestructive pain relief, since the therapy can be turned off or surgically removed
- Ability to adjust the therapy based on pain level
Advances are also being made in the treatment of pelvic pain, non-cardiac chest/angina pain, and chronic abdominal pain not due to inflammatory bowel disease. Finally, studies are showing improved blood flow following spinal cord stimulation for patients with peripheral vascular disease.
Deep Brain and Cortical Stimulation
Another type of neuromodulation is deep brain stimulation. This therapy delivers electrical currents to the deep nuclei of the brain, treating pain associated with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders and diseases. Deep brain stimulation is currently utilized as a cutting-edge treatment for epilepsy.
Expert Neuromodulation Pain Treatment at Weill Cornell Medicine
Our physicians are leading experts in neuromodulation, including spinal cord stimulation and deep brain stimulation. These treatments, when combined with our multifaceted and compassionate care, deliver a high level of pain relief.
Weill Cornell Medicine also offers clinical trials, giving patients access to treatments that may not be available elsewhere. Learn more about Pain Management's current clinical trials.
If you would like to find out more about spinal cord stimulation or deep brain stimulation to relieve pain, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.