Spinal cord stimulator surgery

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Q: I have experienced a great deal of pain in my spine since I was 23. I am now 26 and my doctor suggested putting an anti-pain stimulator in my spine. I am frightened by that kind of surgery. Does it usually work? Brandon G., Romulus

A: I believe your doctor is suggesting a spinal cord stimulator procedure. First and foremost, you need to be seen by a pain specialist to determine if this is the necessary initial treatment for your condition. To make sure a spinal cord stimulator is beneficial for you, a trial phase would be conducted before implantation.

Q: I had some tests done about six months ago because I have recurring pain in the lower part of my leg. My doctor found nothing wrong. Is it possible the pain is all in my head? Kimberly T., Trenton

: There is a possibility that a psychological component is the source of your pain. Leg pain may have many potential causes, such as an old injury, arthritis, nerve damage or inflammation. Without knowing what tests your doctor performed, it is difficult to assess, but I do recommend speaking with him/her again to investigate further.

Q: My neck is reguarly having strong, unpleasant spasms. It doesn’t seem to be connected with exercise or exertion at all. Is this a real problem? Britney D., Southgate

A: Muscle spasms usually indicate either irritation of the nerve or overworked muscles. If you do not have any pain going down from you neck to your fingers, try applying a combination of heat and ice with plenty of rest for a week to see if symptoms resolve. If not, ask your doctor if they will consider prescribing you a muscle relaxer. If you do have pain moving down to your fingers, then imaging studies or more invasive tests may be necessary for diagnosis and further treatment.

Do you have a pain management question for Dr. Mekasha? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net. Daniel Mekasha, M.D. is a board certified pain specialist and anesthesiologist. His practice, MAC Pain & Spine Institute, is located at 23050 West Rd., Brownstown Twp.

All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any Bewick publication(s).