JOPLIN, Mo. — Tens of millions of Americans suffer from back pain and about 8% of us experience it on an ongoing basis.

“Spinal cord stimulators have been around for many, many years. Basically, what it is, is it’s a way to modulate the pain impulses from the spine,” said Dr. Roger Misasi, Int. Pain Management.

Dr. Roger Misasi starts out by making sure the path to the issue is clear.

“We’ll do like X-rays and an MRI just to make sure that the epidural space is open and there’s nothing that’s in the way of doing it, and basically what we do is we take these small leads, and under X-ray guidance, we feed these leads up into the epidural space,” said Dr. Misasi.

There is a range of options for using the leads to treat pain, something the patient can adjust.

“They will use these different contacts on each one of those leads to use microcurrent that you don’t even feel to drown out pain impulses,” said Dr. Misasi.

If that’s successful, the next step is the implant.

“The way I do that is very similar to what I did too, except that where instead of coming to the outside, I use a tunneling device, and patients can adjust the intensity to do what they want,” said Dr. Misasi.

Each procedure can take about an hour to an hour and a half.

The goal is to decrease the use of pain meds.

“In a lot of cases, it will replace or eliminate at least narcotic analgesics. That’s the goal is to make the patient feel more functional,” said Dr. Misasi.