Spinal cord stimulation uses low voltage electrical stimulation on the spinal nerves to block pain signals.
For some patients who have chronic pain in the arms or legs who have not been able to find relief with other methods, this could be the only treatment option. Through the treatment does not work for everyone, the majority of patients who undergo treatment report at least a 50% reduced in pain, alongside an increased ability to participate in daily activity. The majority of patients find that they can either dramatically decrease or completely stop taking pain medications.
Soft, thin wires are placed through a needle in the back near the spinal column. Each wire has an electrical lead on it, and the back insertion is done without the need for an incision. Tiny incisions are necessary on some occasions. The generator can be programmed to adjust the area where current is delivered, or the intensity of the current.
Patients then learn how to control the electrical stimulation on their own to adjust it to their pain level.