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Psychological Screening for Spinal Cord Stimulation

Patients who are suffering from chronic pain, a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) could be a viable long-term solution for pain management. One of the prerequisites for a spinal cord stimulator procedure is the completion of a psychological screening. In this blog, we will explain why this is necessary and what can be expected during the screening process.

Psychological Screening for Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

Spinal Cord Stimulators are typically used for patients who have one of the following conditions:

  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Chronic Lower Back Pain
  • Spondylosis
  • Sciatic Nerve Pain

Spinal Cord Stimulators are considered to be the most viable long-term solution for people suffering from chronic pain. Spinal Cord Stimulators are a neuromodulation device that is implanted into the area surrounding the spinal canal. Spinal cord stimulators work by blocking pain signals being sent from the nerves to the brain.

Why is Psychological Screening Necessary?

For some patients, implanting a foreign device may affect them negatively. This is especially true for people who have untreated anxiety or depression. If the patient is feeling anxious prior to the procedure, the surgery may not be effective in treating their chronic pain and cause other side effects. The implant may also cause increased anxiety if prior mental conditions are not addressed beforehand.

Although pre-existing anxiety or depression may make the transition difficult, these conditions will not automatically disqualify the patient. The psychological screening will help doctors assess if the patient needs to see a therapist or if they should being taking medication before the device is implanted.

What Will Happen During the Psychological Screening?

The psychological screening process is simple and straightforward. The patient will meet with a certified psychologist and have a discussion about day-to-day life and how their chronic pain has affected them both physically and emotionally. The psychologist will also inquire about the patient’s family life, medical history, and previous drug or alcohol abuse issues.

The appointment should only take about two hours to complete and the conversation is confidential. The psychologist will only share the patient’s information with their doctor upon written consent.

At Ramos Center, we believe that healing is both physical and mental. It has been proven that patients with less stress and anxiety adapt to spinal cord stimulation treatment better than patients who do suffer from these conditions. We want to work one-on-one with patients to achieve full mind and body healing for the long-term.

Dr. Ramos is committed to helping his patients find alternative solutions for their chronic pain. Call us today to learn more about spinal cord stimulation and our other alternative pain management options. We have a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and therapists to help in the healing and recovery process. No one should be trapped living a life in chronic pain. Make a choice today to change your life for the better!