Spinal cord stimulation (also known as neurostimulation therapy) is delivered with a small spinal cord stimulator (similar to a pacemaker) implanted under the skin. It delivers mild electrical impulses to your spine, causing a tingling sensation in the area of your chronic pain.
DR. ERIC GRIGSBY
Pain Management Specialist, California
“The specific improvements that we see in our patients, and certainly that we want to achieve, are improvements in the side effects and the complications of chronic illness.”
Spinal cord stimulation provides pain relief by modifying the pain messages before they reach the brain. The neurostimulator sends out mild electrical impulses that reach the brain faster than the pain signal can arrive. In other words, it outsmarts your back and leg pain. Instead of feeling pain, you feel a tingling sensation.
See how Medtronic neurostimulation outsmarts pain
You can adjust the strength and location of stimulation using a handheld programmer. For example, you can regulate different levels of stimulation at different times of the day or for various activities – such as walking, sleeping, or sitting.
Depending on the neurostimulation system, the device may feature adaptive stimulation that automatically adjusts stimulation when you change position. Called AdaptiveStim®, this technology remembers the stimulation change and applies the setting the next time you move into that position.
Neurostimulation Therapy Since 2009
“I get very sick when I take oral meds…that was one of the things that kind of moved me towards the spinal cord stimulator because I didn’t have to take anything orally. I just had to hit a button if I was in pain. And that’s a lot better to me.”
A complete spinal cord stimulation or neurostimulation system includes several components:
The neurostimulation system does not make any noise. The spinal cord stimulator may be felt as a small bump under your skin, but does not normally show through your clothes.
See the neurostimulation system components
An MRI is an important diagnostic tool and one of the most commonly performed tests in the world. Medtronic spinal cord stimulation systems with SureScan MRI Technology are the only systems of their kind to relieve chronic pain and allow you safe* access to an MRI scan on any part of your body.
Many people experience improvements in their pain symptoms and quality of life after receiving Medtronic spinal cord stimulation. Benefits may include:
In addition, this treatment:
The neurostimulation implant is surgically placed under the skin. Surgical complications are possible and may include infection, pain at the site of surgery, and bleeding into the epidural space. Once the neurostimulation system is implanted, device complications may occur and include corrective surgery, jolting, lead breaking, and movement of the lead within the epidural space which may require reprogramming or surgical replacement of the leads. These events may result in uncomfortable stimulation or loss of therapy.
See Important Safety Information for more details.
Both spinal cord stimulation and drug delivery therapy offer several advantages over other chronic pain therapies:
*Under specific conditions; requires SureScan implantable neurostimulator and Vectris® leads.