Spinal cord stimulation uses minimal voltage stimulation to the spine to obstruct the feeling of pain. A small device, known as spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is implanted in the body and it transmits a beam of electric current to the spinal cord. The device when turned on emits stimulation which is mildly tingly in the focused area of pain. It assists the patients to manage their symptoms in a much better way and potentially lessen the consumption of pain medications. It is the best option for an individual who suffers from chronic leg and arm pain and have not found any relief with all other therapeutics. A spinal cord stimulator is also termed as a dorsal column stimulator, is the device which placed under skin at the back by performing a minimally invasive surgery. This device in equal intervals sends current to the spinal cord. A small, thin wire carries and transmits the current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. The tingly sensation in the area of pain helps in alleviating the pain as the electric current from the spinal cord stimulator interrupts the pain signal and prevents it from reaching the brain.
Stimulation does not abolish the main source of pain, instead it intervenes with the signal that goes to the brain, and therefore the amount pain relief that an individual receives from a spinal cord stimulator varies person to person. Many patients find the tingly sensation very displeasing and annoying and for such reasons, a trial stimulation session is performed prior to the device being permanently placed. A recent survey on spinal cord stimulator market reveals that this therapy has been in use for more than 35 years and has helped around 350,000 patients across the world to find pain relief. The prime goal for the SCS is a 50% to 70% reduction in pain. Nevertheless, even a little amount of pain relief is quite substantial in helping with day-to-day activities, also with reduction in pain, the consumption of main medication also decreases. Unlike most of the surgical procedures, spinal cord stimulation is reversible. Meaning, if the device does not work for a particular patient for some stated reasons, or if the patient decides to discontinue the therapy, the wires, electrical contacts and the generator can be removed and there are no permanent alterations to the spine.