A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a device used to alleviate chronic pain in certain parts of the body, particularly in the back, arms, or legs. It works by delivering mild electrical pulses to the spinal cord, which disrupt or mask the pain signals before they reach the brain. The device consists of thin wires with electrodes that are placed in the epidural space near the spinal cord, along with a small battery-powered generator typically implanted under the skin of the abdomen or buttocks.

Patients can adjust the settings of the spinal cord stimulator using an external remote control, allowing them to customize the level of stimulation to best manage their pain. SCS is often used when other treatments, such as medications or physical therapy, have not provided sufficient relief, and it can be particularly beneficial for certain conditions like failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and neuropathic pain.

It’s essential for individuals considering SCS to undergo a thorough evaluation by a pain management specialist to determine if they are suitable candidates for the procedure and to discuss the potential risks and benefits.