What is a
Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Learn how spinal cord stimulation can reduce back pain.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

See important safety information at the end of the video. Only your doctor can determine if this therapy is right for you. Like millions of other people, Kathy was experiencing chronic pain that kept her from doing the things she loved. Instead of gardening or playing with her kids, Kathy spent countless days lying immobile on the couch. She was beginning to feel that life was passing her by, that is until her doctor recommended treatment from Medtronic with groundbreaking technology. This is Spinal Cord Stimulation by Medtronic, Explained. Kathy learned from her doctor that spinal cord stimulation is like a pacemaker for chronic pain. It involves implanting under the skin a neurostimulator and thin wires called leads. Together, they provide pain relief by modifying pain messages before they reach the brain. In other words, it's a treatment that actually outsmarts your pain. Kathy was impressed. But naturally, she still had some worries. First and foremost was the surgery itself. Her doctor explained that like all surgical procedures, there are risks associated with the implant. For example, she could get an infection or the device might not provide the therapy she needs. However, he also told her that she could test the therapy before going on to an implant to make sure it works for her. Kathy had also heard that with this kind of treatment, the stimulation level on her device would have to be manually adjusted with a programmer whenever she changed positions. Fortunately, Kathy's doctor assured her that spinal cord stimulation by Medtronic was different. He said that Medtronic's AdaptiveStim technology would allow her to set it and forget it. Because he noticed there was still a question mark on her face, he went on to explain it by comparing cars with automatic and manual transmissions. Conventional stimulation is like using a manual transmission. It needs to be manually adjusted each time you change body positions. AdaptiveStim, however, is like an automatic transmission. It intuitively senses when you change to a new position. You can be active without having to adjust your stimulation setting. AdaptiveStim automatically adjusts it for you. Because Kathy's car is an automatic, this idea made a lot of sense to her. However, she still had one concern. She knew that her father was unable to have MRI scans because of his pacemaker. But her doctor explained how some spinal cord stimulation systems from Medtronic protect her future options with something called SureScan MRI Technology. SureScan would allow her to get an MRI scan on any part of her body under specific conditions. Kathy was intrigued by the convenience of AdaptiveStim and the option of getting an MRI in the future. She also liked hearing that it might be possible for her to return home the same day as the surgery. So she decided to go forward with the screening test to see if spinal cord stimulation would relieve her chronic pain. On the first day of the test, Kathy knew she had finally found a treatment option that worked. Unlike the injections, pain medications, and surgery that she had previously tried, therapy from Medtronic with AdaptiveStim and SureScan MRI technology got Kathy off the couch and back to an active life. Ask your doctor about spinal cord stimulation with technology only from Medtronic, or learn more at TameThePain.com.

A Medtronic implantable neurostimulation system is indicated for the management of chronic back and/or leg pain. The most frequently reported problems following the surgery to implant a neurostimulation system include infection, lead movement, pain at the implant site, loss of therapy effect, and therapy that did not meet the patient's expectations. For a list of adverse events that have been associated with the therapy, please refer to important safety information at www.TameThePain.com/safety neurostimulation.

The medical procedure diathemy cannot be used on someone with an implanted neurostimulation device, as this can result in severe injury or death. Most electrical devices and magnets encountered in a normal day are unlikely to affect the operation of a neurostimulation. However, sources of strong electromagnetic interference, such as MRI and RF/microwave ablation, can interact with the neurostimulation system, resulting in serious injury or device damage. Not everyone responds to spinal cord stimulation in the same way, and your experience may vary. To understand the benefits and risks, please discuss them in detail with your doctor. A prescription is required. For complete safety information about spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, call Medtronic at (800) 328-0810 or visit Medtronic's website at www.TameThePain.com/safety neurostimulation.
Procedure Length


30 - 45 minutes

Patient Home Same Day


Outpatient procedure

What Is a Spinal Cord Stimulation?

Spinal cord stimulation uses low voltage electrical stimulation to the spinal nerves to block pain signals.


Occasionally, patients suffering from chronic pain in their back, neck, arms and legs are not able to find the relief they need. When that happens, spinal cord stimulation could be a treatment option. Though the treatment does not work for everyone, the majority of patients who undergo treatment report significantly less pain, alongside an increased ability to participate in daily activities. The majority of patients find that they can either dramatically decrease or completely stop taking pain medications.


Soft, thin wires are placed through a needle in the back near the spinal column. Each wire has an electrical lead that is connected to a computer/generator. The generator can be programmed to adjust the area covered, whether it’s the back or legs, or both.


Patients then learn how to adjust the electrical stimulation on their own to control their pain level.

How Will I Feel After Surgery?

The majority of patients will notice a gradual, good to excellent long-term relief to some or all of their symptoms. A positive attitude and following your doctor’s post-surgery instructions will contribute to a satisfactory outcome.

*The Spinal Cord Stimulation procedure is recognized by the American Medical Association.

Used To Treat These Conditions

A spinal disc that is damaged, causing back pain and other problems.

Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Conditions Icons Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

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We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
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