What is Adaptive Stimulation?

Medtronic is continually advancing neurostimulation therapy to improve quality of life for patients with chronic pain. One of these innovations is known as adaptive stimulation, or AdaptiveStim™ technology. A spinal cord stimulation system with AdaptiveStim™ technology means that you don’t have to use your manual programmer every time you lie down, stand up, or roll over in bed. It automatically changes your stimulation level for you—and remembers your preferred stimulation level. This new technology is available only from Medtronic.

What Does Adaptive Stimulation Do?

Throughout each day, you change positions repeatedly—from sitting to lying down, from lying down to standing up, from standing to being active (walking, jogging, etc.). As you change positions, your spinal cord may move closer to or farther away from the electrodes that send out the mild electrical pulses.1 A stimulation level that blocks your pain when you’re standing may be uncomfortable when you’re lying down. As a result, you may have to adjust the stimulation level with your programmer.

Before AdaptiveStim technology, all neurostimulation systems may have required you to adjust the stimulation level with your programmer when you changed positions for more comfort. With AdaptiveStim™ technology, you can be active without having to adjust your stimulation level—it automatically adjusts it for you.

What Patients Say About Adaptive Stimulation.


"When I’m standing, when I’m walking, [AdaptiveStim™ technology] is just automatic, it just goes right to the setting that I need, which gives me freedom [from the programmer], and that’s a plus."

AdaptiveStim™ Technology Automatically Adapts to Your Position

AdaptiveStim™ technology remembers your preferred stimulation level for each position and automatically adjusts the stimulation level the next time you move into that position.

AdaptiveStim™ technology, available only from Medtronic:

  • Senses when you change positions
  • Responds by automatically adjusting your stimulation level to your optimal stimulation level in each position

What Patients Say About Adaptive Stimulation


"I say set it and forget it, that’s the way it works with me."

How Does AdaptiveStim™ Technology Work?

AdaptiveStim™ technology uses an accelerometer, similar to what’s used in smartphones and gaming devices to detect a change in position. Just as a smartphone knows if it’s being used vertically or horizontally and adjusts the screen image, AdaptiveStim™ technology senses a change in position and adjusts your settings.

What Patients Say About Adaptive Stimulation


"Whatever activities that you're doing, you can do them without the spikes, without the jolts, without the drops. It's just a constant level of comfort and ease."

How Effective is It?

In a recent clinical study comparing the RestoreSensor™ device with AdaptiveStim™ technology to conventional stimulation found that:

  • 86.5% of clinical study patients reported improved pain relief and/or improved convenience1
  • 80.3% of clinical study patients reported improved comfort when changing positions1
  • 90.1% of clinical study patients said they intend to leave AdaptiveStim™ technology turned on all or most of the time or turn it on or off as needed1

Have questions about AdaptiveStim™ technology? Our Talk With a Nurse program makes it easy to get answers.


  1. Medtronic advanced pain therapy using neurostimulation for chronic pain. Clinical summary. 2014; M221494A009.