Can Electrical Stimulation Help People With Spinal Cord Injuries?

February 4, 2020
  • Author : Carolyn Mohsenzadeh

The spinal cord is a cylindrical structure that transmits sensory and motor information to and from your brain to the rest of your body. When this vital part of your central nervous system is injured—due to trauma, compression, or a loss of regular blood flow—it has detrimental effects on the rest of your body.

About 250,000 to 500,000 people the world over struggle with spinal cord injuries every year. The trajectory of your spine’s health and functioning depends on the severity and location of the injury. However, for many people, a spinal cord injury results in a complete or partial loss of motor and sensory control.

Electrical stimulation is one of the latest breakthroughs to help people with spinal cord injuries.

Here is some information you may find helpful:

What is Electrical Stimulation?

Since the vital role of the spine is the carrier of nerves, a spinal cord injury leads to a loss of functioning in the areas below the location of the injury. Your muscles, organs, and joints are affected when the link is damaged or broken.

Long-term paralysis or partial loss of bodily functioning are frequent outcomes of spinal cord injuries.

Through electrical stimulation, this innovative treatment method employs low level electrical impulses to restore function loss. The small electrical impulses encourage function and independent movement since the muscles and nerves cannot receive impulses from the spinal cord.

Muscle activity is promoted by affecting specific muscles in the arms, legs, and hands.

Which Functions Can Electrical Stimulation Restore?

Electrical stimulation works by blocking pain signals and triggering impulses in the nerves. Some of the functioning lost to spinal cord injuries that can be restored is:

  • Regaining control of the bladder and bowels
  • Pain relief by blocking pain signals
  • Restoring muscle movement
  • Improving the posture, grip of the hand, and ability to stand
  • Restoring breathing without the need for a ventilator
  • Regaining sensory abilities
  • Prevents muscle atrophy

Injuries resulting from sharp trauma may be untreatable since the spinal cord may be completely severed. However, most spinal cord injuries involve compression or contusion of the spinal cord so, with the right kind of medical care and rehabilitation, many of the body functions lost to the injury can be restored.

At Houston Neurosurgery & Spine, we provide safe and effective treatments for a variety of spine-related conditions. At our back and spine center in Houston, our expert neurosurgeons offer minimally-invasive and surgical procedures such as lower back pain surgery Houston using the latest technologies and innovative techniques.

From the assessment to diagnosis and treatment, we provide highly personalized care that’s tailored to your condition.

Schedule an appointment at our neurological spine center Houston by calling at 832.522.8500 today.