What Is Neurostimulation?

Neurostimulation (also called spinal cord stimulation, or SCS) is a proven therapy that has been recommended by doctors to manage chronic pain and improve quality of life. Neurostimulation systems are approved or cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of chronic pain in the back, neck, arms, or legs. They are also covered by many major health insurance plans, Medicare, and workers’ compensation programs.

Benefits of neurostimulation may include

  • A reduction in pain by 50 percent or greater.1-3
  • A reduction or elimination in the use of pain medications.4
  • Increased activity levels and an improved overall quality of life.4

Neurostimulation, however, is not a cure for what is causing the pain and does not treat specific diseases. Instead, it is a therapy that's designed to mask pain by blocking pain signals before they reach the brain. It has been used to manage pain that comes from failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) or post-laminectomy syndrome and other neuropathies. To find out if neurostimulation may be right for your pain, talk to your doctor.

1 Kumar K, Taylor RS, Jacques L, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain. November 2007;132(1-2):179-88.

2 North RB, Kidd DH, Farrokhi F, Piantadosi S. Spinal cord stimulation versus repeated lumbosacral spine surgery for chronic pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Neurosurgery. 2005;56(1):98-107.

3 Burchiel KJ, Anderson VC, Brown FD, et al. Prospective, multicenter study of spinal cord stimulation for relief of chronic back and extremity pain. Spine. 1996;21(23):2786-2794.

4 Advanced Neuromodulation Systems. Prospective, Multi-Centered, Single Arm Study to Evaluate the Safety and Effectiveness of Genesis Implantable Pulse Generator in Combination with ANS Percutaneous Leads for the Management of Chronic Pain of the Trunk and/or Limbs. Plano, Tx: Advanced Neuromodulation Systems; 2006.