Also known as a dorsal cord stimulator, is a treatment for pain that blocks nerve impulses to the spine. SCS is a device placed under the skin and works by sending a mild electric current to the spinal cord.
A general condition known as failed back surgery syndrome is one of the most common reasons spinal cord stimulation is used. The term describes chronic pain after one or more back or neck surgeries fails to alleviate persistent low back pain, leg pain (sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy) or arm pain (cervical radiculopathy).
The therapy also has the potential to alleviate pain related to the following conditions:
- Arachnoiditis, painful inflammation and scarring of the meninges (protective layers) of the spinal nerves
- Chronic back pain with or without leg pain
See Types of Back Pain: Acute Pain, Chronic Pain, and Neuropathic Pain
- Chronic neck pain with or without arm pain
See Chronic Neck Pain: What Condition Is Causing My Neck Pain?
- Complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic progressive disease characterized by severe pain and swelling
- Peripheral neuropathy, a constant burning pain of the legs caused by the most distant nerves dying off
See All About Neuropathy And Chronic Back Pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), a progressive disease of the nervous system in which patients feel constant burning pain
- Refractory angina, which causes chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue
Spinal cord stimulation is recommended for an increasing number of painful health problems, and this is not a comprehensive list of conditions the therapy may help.