Stimulation use mild electric pulses, delivered through a device, to relieve chronic pain. The electricity blocks the nerve impulses that make you feel pain.
When other treatments don’t give you enough pain relief, stimulation may be an option. Stimulation reduces or eliminates the need for pain medication.
In pulse stimulation, the device blocks pain by sending electrical pulses to peripheral nerves in the ear. Peripheral nerves connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Pulse stimulation is also called peripheral nerve stimulation.
A pulse stimulation device has 3 parts:
- A small electrical device (a wire-like electrode) that’s placed next to a peripheral nerve
- An internal battery pack, like a pacemaker, that’s placed under the skin
- A programmer, which is like a remote control and lets you adjust the stimulation
One type of pulse stimulation is the Neuro-Stim System™. The small implant, about the size of a hearing aid, is placed behind the ear. It’s connected to a peripheral nerve in the ear.
The Neuro-Stim System™ is used for 5 days at a time. It can be used on its own or along with other pain management treatments. For chronic pain, patients usually have 6 treatments. The device is removed after the treatments.