Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 217–225 | Cite as

Spinal Cord Stimulation: Neurophysiological and Neurochemical Mechanisms of Action

Neuropathic Pain (R Raja, Section editor)

Abstract

Chronic neuropathic pain can significantly reduce quality of life and place an economic burden on individuals and society. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is an alternative approach to the treatment of neuropathic pain when standard pharmacological agents have failed. However, an improved understanding of the mechanisms by which SCS inhibits pain is needed to enhance its clinical utility. This review summarizes important findings from recent studies of SCS in animal models of neuropathic pain, highlights current understanding of the spinal neurophysiological and neurochemical mechanisms by which SCS produces an analgesic effect, and discusses the potential clinical applicability of these findings and future directions for research.

Keywords

Spinal cord stimulation Nerve injury Neuropathic pain Gate-control Dorsal horn Neurophysiology Rat Gamma-aminobutyric acid Serotonin Wide-dynamic-range neurons Pain modulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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