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What’s Next After Failed Spinal Cord Stimulation and Surgery?

Living with chronic back pain is a challenge in itself, but what happens when the treatments meant to alleviate that pain fail? 

For many who have undergone spinal cord stimulation (SCS) or surgery as a last resort for managing their pain, the aftermath of a failed procedure can be devastating. 

While one treatment may not have been successful, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are various alternative treatments and therapies available for managing chronic pain. From medication adjustments to physical therapy and alternative therapies like acupuncture or chiropractic care, exploring different options can lead to finding an approach that works best for individual needs.

In this blog, we’ll explore the physical, emotional, and practical impacts of failed spinal cord stimulation and surgery, and discuss strategies for navigating life after such setbacks.

  1. Stay Active Within Your Limits: Engage in physical activities that are manageable and within your comfort zone. This could include gentle exercises like swimming, yoga, or walking. Regular movement helps maintain flexibility and strength while managing pain.
  1. Practice Good Posture: Pay attention to your posture, especially when sitting or standing for long periods. Maintaining proper alignment can help reduce strain on your spine and alleviate discomfort.
  1. Use Heat and Cold Therapy: Experiment with heat packs, cold packs, or alternating between the two to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Apply heat or cold therapy to the affected area for short periods as needed.
  1. Implement Relaxation Techniques: Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery into your daily routine. These practices can help calm your mind and body, reducing tension and stress.
  1. Establish a Sleep Routine: Prioritize quality sleep by establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid stimulants like caffeine and electronics before bed, and ensure your sleep environment is conducive to restful sleep.
  1. Manage Stress: Find effective ways to manage stress, as it can exacerbate pain and impact overall well-being. Explore stress-reducing activities such as meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.
  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Certain foods, such as those high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, may help reduce pain and support healing.
  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and maintain optimal functioning. Proper hydration is essential for supporting overall health and minimizing muscle tension.
  1. Educate Yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about your condition, treatment options, and self-care strategies. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and advocate for your own health.
  1. Communicate with Your Healthcare Team: Maintain open communication with your healthcare providers about your symptoms, concerns, and treatment preferences for your back pain relief. Work together to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses your individual needs and goals.
  1. Be Patient and Persistent: Recognize that managing chronic back pain is often a gradual process that requires patience and persistence. Stay committed to your self-care routine and treatment plan, and be open to adjusting strategies as needed.

Lastly, seek professional help when needed. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re struggling to manage your pain or cope with the emotional challenges. Pain management products, pain specialists, physical therapists, counselors, or other healthcare professionals might help and offer specialized support and guidance.

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