Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation

Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation (PNFS) is a neuromodulation technique used to manage chronic pain by stimulating peripheral nerves. It involves the implantation of small electrodes near the nerves that are causing pain. These electrodes deliver electrical impulses that interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain, thereby reducing the perception of pain.

How Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation Works:


  • Trial Phase: A temporary electrode is placed under the skin near the painful area. The electrode is connected to an external stimulator, allowing the patient and physician to assess the effectiveness of PNFS.
  • Permanent Implantation**: If the trial is successful, a permanent system is implanted. This includes electrodes placed subcutaneously near the target nerves and a pulse generator implanted under the skin, typically in the abdomen or buttocks.


  • The pulse generator sends electrical impulses through the electrodes to the peripheral nerves.
  • These impulses create a tingling sensation that masks the pain signals.


  • The device can be programmed and adjusted externally to provide optimal pain relief.
  • Patients typically have a remote control to adjust the stimulation settings as needed.

Conditions Treated by Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation:

PNFS is used for various chronic pain conditions, particularly those that are localized and have not responded well to other treatments, including:

  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pain from scar tissue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Groin pain
  • Abdominal pain

Benefits and Risks of Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation:


  • Provides significant pain relief, often reducing the need for pain medications.
  • Improves the quality of life and daily functioning.
  • Minimally invasive compared to other surgical options.
  • Adjustable settings to tailor pain relief to the patient’s needs.
  • Reversible procedure; the system can be removed if necessary.

Risks and Complications:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Pain or discomfort at the implant site
  • Lead migration (movement of the electrodes)
  • Device malfunction or breakage
  • Allergic reaction to the materials used in the device
  • Nerve damage or irritation
  • In rare cases, the procedure may not provide significant pain relief

Suitability for Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation:

PNFS is typically considered for patients with chronic pain that has not responded to conventional treatments such as medications, physical therapy, or less invasive procedures. Candidates for PNFS undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine the most appropriate treatment approach. A successful trial phase is a key factor in deciding whether to proceed with permanent implantation.

Accepting New Patients

Peripheral Nerve Field Stimulation is an effective treatment option for managing chronic pain localized to specific areas. By delivering electrical impulses to peripheral nerves, PNFS can significantly reduce pain and improve patients’ quality of life. Patients considering PNFS should discuss the potential benefits and risks with their healthcare provider to determine if it is the right treatment for their specific pain condition.

Pain Treatment Institute is committed to offering the latest advancements in medication management. Our pain management clinics are accepting new patients. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Our Pain Management Physicians

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