O’FALLON — HSHS St. Elizabeth's Interventional Pain Management Center is adding a new therapy to the many options available for patients who suffer from chronic pain.

Spinal cord simulator trials (SCS) will be offered at St. Elizabeth’s for patients meeting appropriate health qualifications.

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SCS is a technology that helps to manage chronic pain when the cause cannot be repaired. Patients suffering from neuropathy, pain not relieved after back surgery, failed injection procedures and many other pain-related issues could benefit from SCS.

The stimulation device consists of a wire, or "electrode," connected to a control unit and disrupts the nerve signals so they do not reach the brain. One or two wires are placed outside the spinal cord and a unit outside of the body controls a mild electrical pulse that usually is not felt. The external component is kept in place for a period of time so the patient can assess how well the stimulation is decreasing their pain.

St. Elizabeth’s Interventional Pain Management Center physician Dr. Kristina Naseer shared, “Chronic pain is a growing epidemic across the United States. Spinal cord stimulation has proven its efficacy in refractory and difficult-to-treat pain syndromes. Advantages of this minimally invasive, cost-effective device include reduced opioid and pain medication use, targeted and adjustable pain relief, and having limited or no side effects.”

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The pulses mask the pain signal and can be adjusted to get the greatest improvement and relief from the pain.

“When successful, a spinal cord stimulator can help manage chronic pain that has not responded well to other treatments and improve a patient’s ability to participate in normal daily activities,” said Dr Naseer. “SCS is designed to improve quality of life.”

A physician's referral is required for SCS and other treatments at St. Elizabeth’s Interventional Pain Management Center. For more information on this new technology or other available services, call 618-234-2120, ext. 32847.

For more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit steliz.org.

About Hospital Sisters Health System

Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.

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