How a Spinal Cord Stimulator Can Eliminate Chronic Pain

Print icon

When he slipped and fell on a snowy driveway during the winter or 2017 and injured his back, Christian Doll began an arduous journey to regain a life free of pain.  The chronic pain he felt from the injury he sustained lead him to seek numerous treatments, which, he said mostly involved heavy medications, including steroid shots and opioids, to help him cope with the pain.

A year and half after his accident, he was referred to the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center where he met with Dr. Ricardo Taboada, a meeting, Doll said, changed his life for the better.

“From the moment I walked into the Pain Treatment Center, I began to feel better,” Doll said.  “Everyone was so accommodating and friendly that I immediately knew I had made the right choice.  Dr. Taboada talked to me about all of my options and really put my mind at ease about what the next steps I needed to take where.”

After discussing all of the options available to him, Doll and Taboada decided on a procedure to have a spinal cord stimulator temporarily implanted in Doll’s back.  Done by Taboada at the Pain Treatment Center, this procedure entails surgically placing a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) device under the skin that sends a mild electric current to the spinal cord. A small wire carries the current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. When turned on, the SCS stimulates the nerves in the area where pain is felt. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signal from reaching the brain.

Following the procedure, Doll began to feel the results right away and said he was amazed at how much it improved his quality of life.  After testing the SCS for several days, he and Taboada decided to get a permanent device implanted, which was done by Dr. Joel Bauman, a neurosurgeon with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.  Now pain free, Doll said his experience with the Pain Treatment Center has given him a “new lease on life.”

“I am so grateful for how well this has turned out for me and that is thanks to the amazing care I received from start to finish,” he said.  “I am now able to do a lot of the things that I used to do before my accident, which has been a very humbling experience.”

Dr. Taboada, and all of the providers at the Pain Treatment at Hartford Hospital, diagnose patients’ sources of discomfort and provide a thorough, goal-oriented plan to minimize pain and restore functionality.

For more information about the Hartford Hospital Pain Treatment Center, click here.  




What's New

Poison Oak

5 Common Summer Rashes and How to Prevent Them

One of the most common causes for a summer visit to the doctor’s office is a rash. Although a sudden outcropping of skin bumps and lumps can be disturbing to anyone, summer rashes are often treated effectively. A rash that appears suddenly and spreads quickly on both sides of the...


Not Just for Kids: What it Takes To Be Diagnosed With ADHD as an Adult

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, when correctly diagnosed in children, often lingers into adulthood, but for others it’s only then that it manifests itself for the first time. Michael Stevens, PhD, of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living in Hartford, said ADHD in adults is only slightly less common...

The Difference Between Physical and Mental Illness? Discrimination.

Patricia A. Rehmer President, Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network When someone is hospitalized with a physical illness like cancer or heart disease, it’s common for friends and neighbors to bring food to that family: casseroles, breads, cookies and more. On the other hand, when an individual is diagnosed with a...

Program Offers H.O.P.E to Drug Offenders in Southington

Michael Gagnon was a typical teenager at Southington High School. Passionate about football, he had a bright future as a nose guard with the Blue Knights varsity team. After being caught with a small amount of marijuana at school, Michael was expelled before he had a chance to play on...

Teens, Makeup and Self-Esteem

How Parents Can Help Teens Build Self-Esteem

Related: Kids, Social Media and Body Image How Anyone Can Build Self-Esteem Healthwise contributed to this report.  Dr. Laura Saunders is a child and adolescent psychologist at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living.