Spinal cord stimulation works by sending light electrical impulses to the spinal cord – and ultimately the brain – in order to mask the chronic pain. The electrical signal interferes with the pain signal sent by your damaged nerve signals and essentially wipes it out before it can reach your brain.
The spinal cord stimulator device is placed under the skin through a small incision performed in an outpatient surgery center. Because the stimulator device is surgically implanted, a trial procedure is performed before the permanent device is implanted to see if the trial is effective at giving enough pain relief to warrant the permanent placement of the stimulator. The amount of relief can vary for each patient.