Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 503-509

First online:

Current and future trends in spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain

  • Timothy R. DeerAffiliated withThe Center for Pain Relief

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Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a reversible treatment for chronic pain that is gaining favor as a first-line therapy for many disease states. Because there are no addictive issues and no side effects systemically, the treatment is moving up the treatment continuum ladder. First used clinically in 1967, the procedure was used exclusively for failed back surgery syndrome. Over the past 30 years selection criteria, psychologic screening, and technology have improved. These advances have broadened the treatment options for many patients in pain. This review focuses on the selection, indications, techniques, new advances, complications, and outcomes involved with SCS. A review is provided for the treatment of radiculitis, failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathies, pelvic pain, occipital neuralgia, angina, ischemic extremity pain, and spasticity. Technologic advances such as multi-lead and multi-electrode arrays are also discussed in regard to the impact these developments have on the clinical application of the therapy.