Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment for patients who suffer from chronic back pain. It has become the standard treatment for patients who have not found pain relief from other treatments. An electrical current is applied to the source of the chronic pain. This blocks the brain’s ability to sense the previously perceived pain. Soft, thin wires with electrical leads on their tips are placed in the back near the spinal column. A tiny programmable electrical generator is implanted under the skin of the buttocks or abdomen and this generator creates electrical currents which are sent to the spinal column.
The device was approved by the FDA in 1989 and since then most patients who have undergone this treatment report a 50-70 percent reduction in overall pain. The generator can be programmed to provide more or less current so as to provide the optimal level of pain relief.