Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a type of medical treatment that uses electrical pulses to stimulate the spinal cord. This can help improve the quality of life for people with conditions such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation therapy is typically used in combination with other therapies, such as pharmacological or physical treatments, to provide the best possible care.
There are several types of SCS technology available, but all use electrical pulses to stimulate the spinal cord. The most common type of SCS is epidural stimulation, which is delivered through a small needle placed into the epidural space near the spine.
The other types of SCS include intrathecal stimulation (in which the electrical pulses are delivered directly into the spinal cord) and transcutaneous stimulation (in which the electrical pulses are applied through electrodes placed on the skin above the level of the spinal cord).
The benefits of SCS depend on the specific condition being treated. For example, people with spinal cord injury may experience improved mobility and reduced levels of pain. In some cases, SCS can also help improve bladder control and intimate function in people with neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis.
Spinal cord stimulation therapy is a treatment option for many conditions. However, some people are not recommended for the therapy. Before you undergo spinal cord stimulation, your doctor will look at your medical history and perform a physical exam. In addition, your doctor may rule out other treatments that may be available to you.