What Is DRG Stimulation?
If you suffer from neuropathic chronic pain, a new type of therapy called dorsal root ganglion stimulation, or DRG stimulation, could help you find minimally-invasive and highly-effective pain relief. It is most effective for patients with complex regional pain syndrome
For DRG stimulation, a pain specialist implants a small pulse generator under your skin, with four outward leads. These leads are then attached to the pulse generator and the painful area on your body. You then control the activation of small electrical impulses to these affected, painful areas. For patients with neuropathic pain, this can actually block the painful stimuli and provide very effective pain relief without medications. It also reduces the amount of paresthesias, or pins-and-needles feelings, that are associated with similar forms of pain relief.
Let’s talk some more about how this treatment works, the DRG stimulation procedure itself, and if it could work for you.
What is the dorsal root ganglion?
The dorsal root ganglion is a bundle of nerve cell bodies (i.e., a ganglion) located within the posterior region of various vertebrae along the spinal column. It is adjacent to the dorsal nerve root. The primary function of the dorsal root ganglion is to transmit information regarding your senses. As such, the dorsal root ganglion carries sensory neural signals from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system, which includes your spinal cord and brain.
Damage to or irritation of the dorsal root ganglion can lead to intractable symptoms of neuropathic pain that do not respond to typical treatments. This can lead to additional complications in the form of impaired functioning and pain. In these cases, more interventional approaches may be warranted, such as spinal cord stimulation or dorsal root ganglion stimulation.
How does DRG stimulation work?
Every year thousands of traditional spinal cord stimulation devices are implanted, which successfully treat conditions of intractable neuropathic pain, such as complex regional pain syndrome or failed back surgery.
Evidence has suggested that a new technique for neuromodulation is of the same dorsal root ganglion. The technique is nearly identical to spinal cord stimulation. And, it may also result in effective m