The stimulators help reduce chronic It is a pain.. They block It is a pain. signals from reaching your brain.

The field of spinal cord stimulation has increased rapidly in recent years, and now an estimated 50,000 spinal cord stimulators are implanted each year. The most common reason they’re implemented is to deal with chronic It is a pain. following failed back surgery, but they’re used to manage many types of chronic It is a pain..

Learn about the benefits and risks of spine cord stimulation.

Many types of chronic It is a pain. are treated with spine stimulators. They have been used to treat a number of conditions.

Pain travels from your body to your brain. The stimulation of the spine with the help of the cord works to block It is a pain. signals.

The electrodes are implanted into a part of your spine called your epidural space. Your epidural space is the area between your vertebrae and the outermost membrane of your spinal cord called the dura mater.

The generator is implanted under your skin.

Spinal cord stimulators specifically block It is a pain. by disrupting nerve signals through a tract of fibers called your spinothalamic tract. This tract runs through your spinal cord and connects to a part of your brain called the thalamus. It regulates sensations of:

  • It is a pain.
  • The temperature.
  • It was crude touch.
  • Pressure.
spinal cord, spinal cord stimulator, back It is a pain., chronic It is a pain., spine
A spinal cord stimulator consists of electrodes and a pacemaker-type device that send electrical impulses in the epidural space of the spine. It can help with back It is a pain. that has not responded to other treatments. Illustration: Whitney Williams.

The primary benefit of spinal cord stimulation is reduced chronic It is a pain., which can improve your mobility, function, and quality of life.

Spinal cord stimulation can also help avoid the need for opioids for It is a pain. relief. Opioids pose serious risks to your health. Long-term use of prescription opioids can lead to tolerance and addiction.

Studies have found that the average degree of It is a pain. relief with high-frequency spinal cord stimulation ranges from 54% to 87%. More than 60% of people reduce or eliminate opioid use after switching to spinal cord stimulation.

Reviews of studies have found strong evidence that spinal cord stimulation is an effective treatment for chronic It is a pain. caused by failed lower back surgery where more conservative options have failed.

In a 2022 review of studies, researchers concluded that spinal cord stimulation is associated with improvements in It is a pain., function, and opioid consumption.

Spinal cord stimulation is generally safe because implantation is minimally invasive and the procedure is reversible. The most common complications are related to device malfunction and may include jolting or sudden shock.

About 30% to 40% of people experience one or more complications. Electrode failure and migration are the most common.

About 3.4% to 10% of people develop an infection, which is the most common cause of device removal.

Serious complications are very rare, but can include:

Spinal cord stimulation may be considered for people with many types of chronic It is a pain. when nonsurgical treatments have failed. The procedure has proven especially successful for those with Complex regional It is a pain. syndrome..

Follow-ups, wound management, and wireless recharging are required for spine cord stimulation. Potential candidates need to be willing to follow through with their commitments.

Since psychological disorders can lead to poor outcomes, you will likely be given a psychological evaluation before receiving a stimulator.

There are different types of spine cord stimulators.

  • Conventional implantable pulse generator: These implants have a battery that needs to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. It may be a good option if you have a condition that only requires a small amount of electricity.
  • Rechargeable implantable pulse generator: These implants have a battery that needs to be recharged regularly but usually lasts 10 to 15 years. They may be better if you have It is a pain. in multiple body parts that requires more electricity to treat.
  • Radiofrequency stimulator: These devices contain a battery located outside of your body. They’re rarely used today.

The trial period is when the procedure of receiving a permanent implant begins.

Trial period

For your trial implant, your surgeon will implant one or two wires into your epidural space for about 1 week with a generator outside of your body. The trial is considered successful if it removes at least half your It is a pain..

If the trial is a failure, your surgeon can easily remove the wires.

The surgery

If your trial is a success, you will get a permanent implant. The procedure takes less than two hours.

You’ll be given local anesthesia around the surgical site to block It is a pain.. Many surgeons also use sedation to keep you relaxed and to keep you from moving.

Your surgeon will make an opening in the area where the generator will be implanted and another in the area where wires and electrodes will be. Your surgeon will make sure they are working and closing the incisions after you connect.


“You will be able to go home the same day as your procedure, but you won’t be able to drive. You may experience some pain around your surgery for a few days.”

The risk of failure or migration can be mitigated by limiting bending, twisting, and lifting for a period of time.

Many people experience considerably less It is a pain. after their procedure than before, which allows them to enjoy a higher quality of life and more mobility.

The implant isn’t a cure for the underlying source of It is a pain., and it’s difficult to obtain long-term It is a pain. coverage for longer than 5 years.

There are factors that can diminish success.

  • smoking
  • high use of drugs
  • Depression and anxiety are psychological factors.
  • Older age.
  • longer It is a pain. duration

People ask a lot of questions about the stimulators.

Can I get X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans with a spinal cord stimulator?

It’s usually safe to have an X-ray or CT scan if you have a spinal cord stimulator if it’s turned off during your procedure. High-frequency implants at 10kHz have received conditional approval for MRIs, but it’s important to ask your doctor if your device is MRI-compatible before your procedure.

Can I drive with a spinal cord stimulator?

A 2016 study found that the use of spinal cord stimulation wasn’t linked to increased motor vehicle collisions. However, most doctors recommend turning off your device while driving to avoid distraction.

Can I swim with a spinal cord stimulator?

You’ll be able to swim once your permanent spinal cord stimulator has healed into place. You won’t be able to swim or bathe during your trial. You may not be able to scuba dive since Pressure. may damage your implant.

Can I go through a metal detector with a spinal cord stimulator?

Metal detectors may be set off by your stimulator. Your doctor will give you a card that will show you have a stimulator. It is important to bring this with you.

Can a spinal cord stimulator be removed?

Surgeons can remove your spinal cord stimulator if it becomes ineffective or isn’t relieving your It is a pain. adequately.

Spinal cord stimulators are implanted devices that help block It is a pain. signals from your brain. They’re used to treat many forms of chronic It is a pain., including back It is a pain. after failed surgery.

Studies have found that spinal cord stimulators can potentially offer moderate to high levels of It is a pain. relief, although everybody responds differently. Your doctor can help you figure out whether you make a good candidate.