Tingling and burning sensation in foot of a young man with diabetic Peripheral neuropathy.

Living with diabetes is a daily challenge that millions of people face worldwide. Among the many complications that can arise from this condition, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is one that often goes unnoticed until it starts to significantly impact daily life. DPN is a common and debilitating consequence of diabetes, affecting up to 50% of individuals with the condition.

In this article, we aim to shed light on this often misunderstood condition, providing you with a better understanding of what DPN is, how it affects daily life, and the importance of finding effective treatments.

Pain in foot. Woman touching red hurt zone on her foot, isolated on white background
Pain in foot. Woman touching red hurt zone on her foot, isolated on white background

Understanding Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage nerves, particularly those in the feet and legs. This nerve damage can cause a range of symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness.

For many people living with DPN, these symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with daily activities, sleep, and overall quality of life. The loss of sensation in the feet also increases the risk of developing foot ulcers and infections, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications and even amputations.

With the profound impact that DPN can have on an individual’s life, it is crucial to raise awareness about the condition and emphasize the importance of finding effective treatments. By exploring various treatment options and working closely with healthcare professionals, those living with DPNs can better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Through empathy, education, and support, we hope to empower our readers to take control of their health and make informed decisions regarding their diabetic peripheral neuropathy care.

A doctor in white lab coat writing neuropathy on a glass wall.

What is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a cutting-edge medical treatment that has been gaining traction in recent years as an effective means to manage chronic pain. This innovative therapy involves the use of a spinal cord stimulator for neuropathy and other painful conditions, providing relief to countless patients worldwide. In this section, we will delve into the fascinating history of SCS, explore how it works, and discuss some common conditions that can be treated with this groundbreaking technology.

The origins of Spinal Cord Stimulation can be traced back to the 1960s when researchers began experimenting with electrical stimulation as a method to alleviate pain. Dr. Norman Shealy, a neurosurgeon, is credited with implanting the first spinal cord stimulator for neuropathy in 1967. Since then, advancements in technology and research have led to more sophisticated devices and improved outcomes for patients, making SCS a popular choice among healthcare professionals and those seeking relief from chronic pain.

So, how does Spinal Cord Stimulation work?

The process involves the implantation of a small device, called a spinal cord stimulator, in the patient’s body. This device delivers mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord, which interfere with pain signals traveling to the brain. As a result, the perception of pain is reduced or even eliminated, providing much-needed relief for those suffering from chronic pain.

SCS has been proven effective in treating a variety of conditions. Some common ones include:

  • SCS for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Patients with diabetes often experience nerve damage in their extremities, leading to chronic pain. Spinal Cord Stimulator for diabetic neuropathy has shown promising results in helping to manage this debilitating pain.
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): This condition causes severe, persistent pain, usually affecting one limb. SCS has been successful in reducing pain levels and improving the quality of life for individuals with CRPS.
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS): Patients who continue to experience chronic pain after back surgery may find relief through Spinal Cord Stimulation.

As we continue to learn more about the potential applications of Spinal Cord Stimulation, it is clear that this innovative therapy holds great promise for those struggling with chronic pain.

A blue spine with a orange pain circle to show what area the spine cord stimulator targets

How Does spinal cord stimulation help with Neuropathy

Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) has emerged as a promising treatment option for patients suffering from Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). As we’ve discussed earlier, DPN is a common and often debilitating complication of diabetes that affects the nerves in the extremities, leading to chronic pain. In this section, we’ll explore the rationale behind using Spinal Cord Stimulators for Peripheral Neuropathy, the clinical studies supporting its effectiveness, and the benefits of this innovative therapy in managing DPN symptoms.

The rationale behind using Spinal Cord Stimulator for Neuropathy

Traditional treatments for DPN, such as medications, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy, can offer some relief but may not be effective for all patients. Spinal Cord Stimulator for neuropathy in feet presents an alternative approach by directly targeting the spinal cord and interfering with pain signals traveling to the brain. This unique mechanism of action allows SCS to address the root cause of DPN pain, rather than merely masking the symptoms.

Clinical studies and effectiveness

Several clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of SCS in managing DPN symptoms. A study published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2018 found that SCS provided significant pain relief and improved quality of life for patients with painful diabetic neuropathy who were unresponsive to conventional treatments1. Another study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2020 showed that SCS led to a 59% reduction in pain intensity and a 44% improvement in sleep quality for patients with refractory DPN2. These findings support the use of SCS as an effective nerve stimulator for neuropathy.

Benefits of SCS as an nerve stimulator for neuropathy

SCS offers several benefits for patients struggling with DPN pain:

  • Pain relief: As discussed above, clinical studies have shown that SCS can provide significant pain relief for DPN patients, improving their overall quality of life.
  • Non-pharmacological treatment: SCS offers an alternative to medications, which can have side effects and may not be suitable for all patients.
  • Personalized therapy: The spinal cord stimulator can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of each patient, ensuring optimal pain relief.
  • Reversible and minimally invasive: The SCS implantation procedure is minimally invasive, and the device can be removed if necessary, making it a low-risk option for patients seeking relief from DPN pain.

In conclusion, Spinal Cord Stimulation is a promising treatment option for patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy who have not found relief through traditional therapies. With its unique mechanism of action, clinical evidence supporting its effectiveness, and multiple benefits in managing DPN symptoms, SCS holds great potential for improving the lives of those struggling with this challenging condition.

A write board listing many different questions about Neuropathy.

Spinal Cord Stimulator Neuropathy: Frequently Asked Questions

As you consider Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) as a potential treatment option for your chronic pain, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. In this section, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about SCS, providing you with valuable insights and information to help guide your decision-making process.

Is SCS right for me?

Determining if SCS is an appropriate treatment option for you depends on several factors, including the cause of your pain, the severity of your symptoms, and your response to other treatments. Generally, SCS is considered for individuals who have not experienced sufficient pain relief from conservative therapies such as medications, physical therapy, or injections. A consultation with a healthcare professional experienced in pain management, such as a pain specialist or neurosurgeon, can help you determine if SCS is a suitable treatment option for your specific situation.

Will my insurance cover SCS?

Coverage for SCS varies depending on your insurance provider and plan. In many cases, SCS is covered by both private insurance companies and government-funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid, provided that certain criteria are met. These criteria may include the completion of a psychological evaluation and a successful trial period. It’s essential to consult with your insurance provider and healthcare team to determine the specific requirements and coverage details for your plan.

How long does the SCS device last?

The battery life of an SCS device depends on the specific model and usage patterns. Typically, non-rechargeable devices can last anywhere from 2 to 7 years, while rechargeable devices can last up to 10 years or more. Once the battery is depleted, a minor surgical procedure will be required to replace the device. Your healthcare team will help you choose the most suitable device based on your needs and preferences.

Can I have an MRI with an SCS implant?

The compatibility of your SCS device with MRI scans depends on the specific model of your device. Some newer SCS devices are designed to be MRI-compatible, allowing for safe MRI scans under certain conditions. However, older or non-MRI-compatible devices may require the temporary deactivation or removal of the device before undergoing an MRI. It’s crucial to inform your healthcare team and radiology staff about your SCS implant before any imaging procedure. They will provide you with the necessary guidance and precautions to ensure your safety.

As you explore the possibility of Spinal Cord Stimulation for your chronic pain, remember that open communication with your healthcare team is essential. They can address any additional questions or concerns you may have, ensuring that you make an informed decision about your treatment options.

Taking The Next Steps toward Pain Relief

In conclusion, Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) has emerged as a promising and innovative treatment option for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). By directly targeting the spinal cord and modulating pain signals, SCS offers a unique approach to managing chronic pain associated with DPN. With numerous clinical studies supporting its effectiveness in providing significant pain relief and improving the quality of life, SCS is a valuable option for those who have not found success with traditional therapies.

It’s essential to remember that each individual’s experience with DPN and response to treatment may vary. Therefore, we encourage you to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in pain management to discuss your specific situation. At Pain and Spine Specialists, our board-certified pain specialists are committed to providing comprehensive, compassionate, and personalized care to address your unique needs.

Don’t let chronic pain hold you back any longer. Reach out to our team of experts who understand the importance of empathy, dignity, and effective treatment options for conditions like Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.


    1. Slangen, R., Schaper, N. C., Faber, C. G., Joosten, E. A., Dirksen, C. D., van Dongen, R. T., … & van Kleef, M. (2014). Spinal cord stimulation and pain relief in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a prospective two-center randomized controlled trial. Pain Medicine, 15(11), 2003-2013. Link

    1. de Vos, C. C., Meier, K., Zaalberg, P. B., Nijhuis, H. J., Duyvendak, W., Vesper, J., … & Huygen, F. J. (2020). Spinal cord stimulation in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy: a multicentre randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care, 43(11), 2638-2646. Link

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