Epidural stimulation is a quantum leap forward in the treatment of spinal cord problems. In this process, there is continuous flow of electric current to the lower part of the spinal cord. It is the best treatment that is available for complete and incomplete spinal cord injury.
What is the procedure?
In this procedure, electric current is provided to the specific parts of our body. The stimulation process is carried out with the help of a little chip. This chip is implanted over the protective coating of the spinal cord. The frequency as well as intensity of the electric current is maintained with the help of a remote. When the stimulator is turned on, paralyzed people are able to move their legs. It also needs the help of extensive training.
What are the benefits of epidural stimulation?
1. There is increase in the quality of life.
2. There is progress in regulation of temperature.
3. There is also enhancement in sexual function.
4. Bladder control functions are also increased.
5. Certain leg movements are also improved.
What are the components of epidural stimulation?
1. Neuro-stimulator – these generate electrical pulses according to the programmable parameters. These may be rechargeable or non rechargeable.
2. Lead – lead are the thin wire which have protective coating and electrodes near the tip. The role of the electrodes is to pass on the electrical pulses to the stimulation site.
3. Clinical programmer – it is critical in mapping process and is used to program the neuro-stimulator which is implanted.
4. Patient programmer – this is helpful when the patient returns back home to continue the rehabilitation process.
What are the mechanisms?
In our spinal cord, there are circuits present that processes information on their own without any assistance of the brain. The epidural stimulation is based on the capability of the reflexes. The electric current that is sent out is able to re activate the spinal circuits. This allows the connection between the spinal cord and the brain to control some of the movements of the leg.
What are the supportive therapies and remedies?
While the procedure of epidural stimulation takes place, a patient should also get supportive therapies and medications so that there is full recovery. These include –
2. Occupational therapy.
3. Aquatic therapy.
4. Supplements that boost our immune system.
5. Diet plans that are tailor made.
Why is epidural stimulation used?
The process of epidural stimulation is undergone to improve spinal cord injury related functions which are related to cardiovascular and other autonomic nervous system.