In situations where severed pain has become chronic and cannot be treated at the root through minimally invasive spine surgery, a pain specialist may recommend a neurostimulator implant. Neurostimulation is based on a theory published in 1965 that nerves can transmit one of two sensations at a time: pain, or a sensation related to touch. For more than 40 years, neurostimulation has been used to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain – helping people who cannot otherwise get the pain relief they need.
An ideal candidate for a neurostimulator implant might be someone whose pain is marked by numbness, burning or tingling. This indicates that their pain is neuropathic. The patient should have tried conservative treatments such as rest, proper exercise and diet, physical therapy, pain medication, nerve blocks, minimally invasive surgery and/or TENS. Candidates for neurostimulation often have been diagnosed with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.