Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a medical treatment used our pain management physicians use to manage chronic pain. It involves the implantation of a small device, similar to a pacemaker, which delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord.

These electrical pulses interfere with the nerve signals that transmit pain to the brain, thereby reducing the perception of pain.

How Spinal Cord Stimulation Works?


  • Trial Phase: Initially, a temporary electrode is placed in the epidural space near the spinal cord. This is connected to an external stimulator, allowing patients to test the effectiveness of SCS for their pain relief.
  • Permanent Implantation: If the trial is successful, a permanent system is implanted. This includes electrodes (leads) placed near the spinal cord and a pulse generator implanted under the skin, usually in the abdomen or buttocks.


  • Pulse Signals: The pulse generator sends electrical impulses through the leads to the spinal cord. These impulses create a tingling sensation that masks the pain signals.


  • Pain Relief: 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 Spinal Cord Stimulation


  • Failed back surgery syndrome (persistent pain after back surgery)
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Ischemic limb pain
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Certain types of cancer-related pain

Benefits and Risks of Spinal Cord Stimulation


  • Reduction in chronic pain levels
  • Decreased reliance on pain medications
  • Improved quality of life and function

Risks and Complications:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Lead migration (movement of the electrodes)
  • Device malfunction or breakage
  • Nerve damage
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Need for further surgeries for adjustments or replacements

Suitability for Spinal Cord Stimulators:

Not everyone is a candidate for SCS. The decision is based on the type of pain, its duration, and the patient’s overall health. It is usually considered when other treatments, like medications, physical therapy, or less invasive procedures, have failed to provide adequate pain relief.

Accepting New Patients

Spinal cord stimulation can be a highly effective treatment for certain types of chronic pain. It requires careful patient selection, thorough trial testing, and ongoing management to ensure the best outcomes.

If you are considering SCS, it’s important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with one of our board-certified pain management physicians.

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

Dr Preston Harmon Top Pain Management Doctor in Frisco McKinney Plano Sherman and Rockwall
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