New Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy Showing Promising Results

New Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy Showing Promising Results

512px-Anterior_thoracic_SCSDoes spinal cord stimulation (SCS) work in relieving pain?

Some data released at the American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting held in Maryland in March indicate that the technology is continuing to improve.

People who participated in an industry-first, randomized clinical trial comparing high frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to conventional frequency SCS significantly improve their pain relief.

“The high-frequency SCS device demonstrated statistical superiority to traditional SCS by a wide margin for all primary and secondary endpoints,” said coauthor B. Todd Sitzman, MD, MPH.  He is a pain management specialist and anesthesiologist in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The high frequency stimulation device is manufactured by Nevro, and called the Senza HF10, which is not currently approved by the FDA. The system delivers pain-masking stimulation to the spinal cord at a rate of 10,000 Hz. (It should be noted that the study received financial support from Nevro Corp.)

This device was compared in a randomized clinical study to conventional stimulation device manufactured by Boston Scientific, called the Precision Plus, which is FDA approved and available in the U.S.  This device delivers pain-masking stimulation at stimulation rates between 50 Hz to 100 Hz.

The study included people with severe and chronic pain of the trunk or limbs (the indication for spinal cord stimulation therapy).  The participants were randomly assigned implantation with one or the other SCS device. Ninety people used the high frequency device, while 81 used the conventional stimulation device.

There was a significant reduction in back pain relief for both groups, however, those using the high frequency device consistently showed greater pain reduction. Similar findings were reported by those who entered the study due to leg pain, where both groups showed significant improvement, but those using the high frequency device had even greater pain reduction.

“These findings bode well for SCS therapy as a whole, showing it is effective in patients with back and leg pain, but HF10 was superior in back and leg pain at 3, 6, and 12 months,” Dr Sitzman said.

People ask what the risks of spinal cord stimulation are and does it really work?

Medtronic, another major player in the industry, describes it this way on their website.

The neurostimulation implant is placed under the skin surgically. So, surgical complications are possible, similar to other surgeries. These may include infection, pain at the site of surgery, and bleeding into the epidural space.

“Once the neurostimulation system is implanted, it’s possible that device complications may occur. These include jolting, lead breaking, and movement of the lead within the epidural space, which may require reprogramming, surgical replacement of the leads, or corrective surgery. These events may result in uncomfortable stimulation or loss of therapy”.

Have you had spinal cord stimulation?

What were your results?

Do you have other questions about SCS, you’d like us to explore?

Tell us.


Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Doug Dunbar

I’m guessing that you live in the U.S., but I don’t know that and I also don’t know if what follows applies to you, because I live in Australia. Briefly, I also have a Medtronic SCS. It worked fine during the trial and very briefly after the implant. And then it went downhill fast till it reached the point where it was virtually worthless. LIke you, all sorts of things were tried to regain the pain relief. None worked. By chance, I happened to learn that Medtronic has a significant number of defective stimulators on the market causing the federal government to issue a hazard recall notice for many models. I tried unsuccessfully to copy the website spelling everything out, but couldn’t paste it onto this note. So, I’m typing part of the website that may be of help to you if you do a similar search wherever you live. If any of the site info. applies to you, I’d demand my “repair money” back and refuse to pay any additional $. Do a search on Google’s Australia search engine for: This is more to the header but you’re trying to get to the Government Department of Health. My guess is that if you have one of the affected defective models and contact the company or do a search in your own country, you may actually get some pain relief and possibly some money back. Worst case - contact an attorney. A single meeting won’t cost an exhorbitant amount. Good luck. Doug My email:

Stephanie H

After suffering a work related injury at only 24, I ultimately had back surgery that quickly turned into a complete failure. I was left with disabling back and extremity pain. I was left with 2 options, one was have extensive fusion and rod surgery with an unknown, possibly worse outcome or delay that surgery and try a spinal cord stimulator. It took me over a year of research to make a decision to move forward with a trial, it was successful but I was cautious of hoping for the best at this point. Even the day of my surgery I was unsure, but by then I ha already been robbed of the latter half of my 20s, a time that I should have spet enjoying time with my husband and having the children we so longed for alog with our family and friends that were living the life we dreamed of. I am proud to say I am now almost 9 months post op from my Boston Scientific Preciscion Spectra Implant and while I an not pain or med free, I am able to have some semblance of a life again. With my scs and my medications I can enjoy life more than I had In years. Some day I will hae to have that surgery but I know my SCS will be along for the ride and giving me back a little hope again as I turn the corner to a new decade. If 30 is better than my 20s then I will be alright because my SCS has changed my life for the better!

Darisse Smith

I will sing the praises of SCS until I die. Because of SCS, I didn’t die from debilitating depression and suicidal thoughts and even a few times-suicidal plans. Only after 30 different Pain Management injections, years of Physical Therapy and Chiropractic care, Acupuncture, prescription medication and 2 invasive back surgeries did doctors recommend the “last resort” of SCS. After a successful trial, I had the implant and I began to have hope. I still have pain, but it is manageable and I have more control over it because of SCS. I am delighted to hear that more research is being done to examine the numerous applications for the technology. I also believe that the SCS needs to be an alternative much earlier in the treatment process. Why did I have to become miserable and suicidal from pain for this to be considered?

Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD

The Holistic Healing Recipe-Self Care: In many advanced ancient cultures wellness and proactive care was a standard concept. Keeping balanced, harmony, tend to your bodies “whispering” request for self care earily. Daily self-care with a wholesome diet, herbs, extra vitamins and Magnesium supplements, exercise, stretching, yoga, heating with pads, hot tubs, hot springs, mineral springs, Epsom soaking, massage, scraping, acupoint or acupressure treatments, strain-counterstrain, unwinding, chiropractic spinal adjustments, traction and most importantly sleep hygiene.

The Holistic Healing Recipe-Assisted Care [minimal-invasive]: In cases where you may get behind and need assistance with more intensive therapy, than you can progress to Acupuncture, modern or myofascial acupuncture, dry needling, GunnIMS and wet needling, Travell’s TrP injections and various other Bio/Prolo/Neural hypodermic injections.

Throughout the history of humanity, we have discovered that “fixing” pain that is cause by life’s stresses and strains is unscientific, flawed and fraught with haphazard results.

Here in the past month and a few days I have become crippled and no one seems to know why are you willing to help me i need adap I can’t live life like this please email me i was going to the Cleveland clinic but then I found out it wasn’t till may 17 my bf took off for next week and my daughter spring break for me to go now I’m stuck in major pain I’m literally scared to death and I pain and suffering and I like need help yesterday

Diane s

I have the Medtronic stimulator implanted November 3,2014 since than it has not improved my pain and now the battery dislodged. So now I am looking at my 5th surgery. They have to tack the battery back in place. Now I face more out of pocket expenses and loss of time at work.
If I had this to do over I would definitely skip getting it done at all.