A spinal cord simulation device is a small implant that delivers low levels of electricity directly into the spinal cord to relieve pain.
Thin wires move currents from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord.
When turned on, the device stimulates (rouses action or increases activity) levels in the nerves where pain is felt.
Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signals from getting to your brain.
How Does Spinal Cord Stimulation Work?
A remote control allows you to turn stimulation on and off, increase and decrease the level of stimulation, and target different pain areas in your body using program settings designed specifically for you.
This stimulation does not get rid of what’s causing the pain. However, it does change the way the brain perceives it.
SCS therapy may use a gentle tingling or fluttering sensation to replace the pain.
Other forms of SCS therapy don’t cause any sensation at all. The amount of pain relief you feel is different for everyone, but the therapy is considered successful if it reduces your pain by at least 50%.
Different kinds of spinal cord stimulation systems available
The units that are more commonly used are fully implanted and have a pulse generator, which is like a battery.
Most of the newer devices feature a rechargeable pulse generator system that can be easily charged through the skin.
However, there are some pulse generators that are fully implanted that do not require recharging, but last a shorter time before they need to get replaced.
Another system includes an antenna, transmitter, and a receiver that relies upon radio frequency to power the device.
In these systems, the antenna and transmitter are carried outside the body, while the receiver is implanted inside the body.
Is SCS Safe For Me?
Spinal cord simulation therapy has been proven safe and effective.
Thousands upon thousands of people in the world have been treated by SCS. There are potential risks involved with any procedure. Be sure to talk with the doctor about any potential risks.