Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) therapy works by interrupting pain signals before they reach your brain. This can help with pain relief—even when other therapies have failed.
SCS may sound complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. SCS systems have a small implanted pulse generator, called a stimulator, and thin wires called leads. These are implanted into your body. The stimulator delivers tiny pulses of mild electric current through the leads to specific nerves on the spinal cord. These impulses mask pain signals traveling to the brain.
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 settings or programs designed specifically for you. This stimulation does not get rid of what’s causing the pain. It changes 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%.