Spinal cord stimulation: The placement of stimulating electrodes next to the spinal cord provides a pleasant tingling sensation in the painful area. This technique appears to help many patients with their pain.
Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a medical therapy for people who suffer from certain types of chronic pain. SCS involves the use of an implanted device—a spinal cord stimulator (sometimes called a generator or pacemaker for pain)—to deliver mild electrical pulses directly to nerve fibers. This direct approach to treating pain at its source can be very effective.
Spinal cord stimulation has three significant advantages:
- SCS can be very effective in reducing chronic pain from certain conditions
- You can have an SCS trial before you have a permanent system implanted, which allows you to see if the therapy works for you
- The implanted device can be turned off permanently or removed if you do not achieve the desired level of relief
- Each type of SCS system has advantages and disadvantages. Should you consider getting a spinal cord stimulator, you and your physician will decide which system is best for your situation. This decision will be based on factors such as your pain pattern, your lifestyle, and how much electrical energy is required to provide adequate pain relief.