How it works: A spinal cord stimulator system generates mild electrical pulses and sends them to your spinal cord via implanted leads that are attached to the generator, which is normally implanted just above the buttocks. The electrical pulses, when received by the spinal cord, replace the feeling of pain with a tingling or massaging sensation, thus reducing or eliminating the patient¹s pain. The patient can control the level of stimulation using any of the multiple custom programs that he or she sets up with the physician. Patients can have a stimulation program for when they are working, standing, sitting, sleeping, etc., based on their levels of pain during these normal activities.
Interventional pain management is a “discipline of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain related disorders.” Interventional pain medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach, in which a team of health care professionals works together, to provide a full range of treatments and services for patients suffering from chronic and/or acute pain. The goals of interventional pain management are to relieve, reduce, or manage pain and improve a patient’s overall quality of life through minimally invasive techniques specifically designed to diagnose and treat painful conditions.
Steroid injections are commonly used to treat rotator cuff tendinopathy, but controlled studies have demonstrated modest benefit, particularly in the long term. 34 Steroid injections should be reserved for patients who have discomfort that would limit them from engaging in rehabilitative exercises. Injections into the gluteal muscle versus guided injections into the subacromial bursa have demonstrated similar levels of pain relief. 35 Surgical options are available for patients with persistent symptoms, or for patients in whom function cannot be maintained.