A large multicenter research trial showed recently that spinal cord stimulation is effective in reducing chronic neck pain. Quite a number of centers participated in the study with a research grant from St. Jude medical. The study’s goal was to try and obtain some research on spinal cord stimulator effectiveness in the cervical spine, as there really isn’t much research to support or refute it’s use.
There were 600 adults in the study, and 38 ended up receiving a stimulator implant in the cervical spine. There were quite a few different diagnoses that lead to chronic neck pain including RSD, failed spine surgery syndrome, chronic cervical radiculopathy, failed neck disc surgery syndrome and others such as degenerative disc disease.
The patients had completed anywhere from 3 to 12 months of follow-up. At six months, overall pain relief averaged 60%. At one year, that had risen to 67%. Only one person in the whole study describes the pain relief as poor. At the one year point, three fourths of individuals said they would undergo the procedure again and would recommend a spinal stimulator to other pain patients in a similar situation.
Think about that for a second. These are patients who have tried everything, incuding surgery in most cases. They are at the end of their “rope”, and the last resort treatment of spinal cord stimulation was acceptable 3/4 of the time, awesome!
This study shows a large gap in what is known about chronic neck pain treatment. There is a substantial body of literature showing the benefits of spinal cord stimulation for chronic low back pain. But studies like this are absolutely necessary to increase our knowledge base of what to do with those patients who have chronic neck pain and are not candidates for further surgery.
If you are suffering from chronic neck pain and feel like you have no options, let the California Pain Network help you. The Network offers pain management Los Angeles and surrounding areas trust, including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and more.
Call (310) 626-1526 for more information and scheduling.