Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal Cord Stimulation is a procedure that delivers small electrical signals to the spinal cord through the nerves, to mask the pain signals. A spinal cord stimulator may be an option when other traditional pain management techniques have failed.  

Home » Treatments » Spinal Cord Stimulation

What is

Spinal Cord Stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation is a proven method used to treat chronic back pain. A small, implanted device, the spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a progressive treatment that helps individuals suffering from chronic back pain.  

Chronic pain patients who have not experienced sufficient relief from traditional treatment approaches may be ideal candidates for a spinal cord stimulator. The Spinal Cord Stimulation can be recommended by your pain management specialist as part of your individualized treatment plan.  

The spinal cord stimulator is a small device, surgically placed in the spine. The device has small threads (or leads) that are placed in the lower back region, between the spinal cord and the epidural space (the vertebrae).  The SCS delivers mild electrical impulses that change and mask the pain signals from reaching the brain. Patients are able to manage their pain symptoms with a small remote control. The stimulator provides patients with a more effective approach to treating their symptoms.

Is spinal cord stimulation right for you?

When suffering from chronic back pain, a pain management specialist can help determine the best course of treatment. When other traditional treatment methods have not helped, your pain management doctor may recommend an SCS to better provide your relief.  Your specialist will review the benefits of the device and any potential risks you may incur. They will then advise you what the necessary steps will be to have to the device implanted.

Starting the process for an SCS:

Once you decide to move forward and have the stimulator placed there are a few steps you must first follow. The initial part of the process requires you to schedule a psychological evaluation. This psychological evaluation is done prior to determine the emotional benefits of an SCS placement. Some patients may not emotionally respond well to a foreign device being surgically implanted in their body. For those individuals, a surgically placed device may actually heighten anxiety and worry.  

Elevated stress levels may negatively impact the effectiveness of the SCS and you may continue to feel pain in the exact same manner.  

The SCS requires surgery for placement and use. It is important for all parties involved to ensure the patient is able to receive the best outcome possible.  

If the patient is not emotionally capable of handling the placement of the device, they may have greater physical and emotional ramifications to a failed surgery. 

The psychological evaluation will be completed by a mental health professional, who will review basic information, medical history, and your struggle with chronic pain. Once the mental health professional has completed their evaluation, and determined you are a good fit, you may move forward in the next steps.  

Spinal Cord Stimulation Trial

Once an individual has successfully completed their psychological evaluation, they proceed to a trial experience of the spinal cord stimulator.  

Patients are able to experience the benefits of an SCS without undergoing a full surgery. This allows a patient to determine if they will have a successful experience with the SCS in managing their chronic back pain.  

The surgeon will place the temporary SCS using fluoroscopy. The trial SCS is performed as an outpatient procedure, and can be done in a doctor’s office or in an out-patient facility. Based on the location of your pain, the leads will be carefully placed in specific portions of your epidural space 

The device itself will not be surgically placed in the body, but will have the electrical threads placed. The leads will be placed in the epidural space of your spine based on the location of your pain. The trial will last roughly 3-5 days, giving you the opportunity to determine if the pain symptoms are subsiding. If you experience a 50% reduction in pain (or more) the SCS trial can be considered a success.  

SCS Placement

The spinal cord stimulator requires a minimally invasive surgery, but a surgery none-the-less.  

After a successful trial period, you can move forward to a permanent placement of the spinal cord stimulator. The surgeon will make a small incision for the device and place it for the patient’s comfort. The electrical leads are then placed in the epidural space of the spine. 

Recovery from this procedure will take a shorter amount of time than other standard spinal surgeries. Post-operatively, you may resume light actives after a few weeks, with a full recovery after eight weeks.  

Your surgeon and/or your pain specialist will monitor your recovery to ensure you have a successful outcome from SCS implantation.  

For many patients, the mild electrical impulses that alter and mask the pain signals are a significant reprieve from their previous pain experiences. Instead of pain radiating through your back, the sensation changes to something manageable.  

The pain-relieving stimulation can be flexibly programmed for the appropriate therapy to provide a gentle tingling sensation. A mild tingle wins over a pain that radiates. The spinal cord stimulator is clinically proven to provide superior relief when compared to other conventional pain treatments. The SCS effectively treats chronic back pain, allowing the patient to live a quality life.  

The SCS has become an ideal solution to incorporate into a chronic pain patient’s journey to relief. Having a spinal cord stimulator can prevent a cycle of pain-suffering-disability-pain in patients. Generally, patients do not want to rely on long-term opioid use. Incorporating a SCS allows a patient to take control of their pain management to fully pursue a fulfilling life. When you’re not held back from pain, life becomes something anyone wants to pursue.  

How To Get Started

If you would like more information about the spinal cord stimulator or other pain management therapies we offer, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland Locations), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania Locations), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia Locations) and schedule an appointment today. 

Download our

Digital Guide

Everything you need to know about our services, locations, treatments, frequently asked questions and much more! 

Get In Touch

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care and services and truly have each individual’s comfort in mind.

Phone Numbers

Phone Numbers


(301) 703-8767


(724) 603-3560


(540) 433-1905

Download our

Digital Guide

Everything you need to know about our services, locations, treatments, frequently asked questions and much more! 

Get In Touch

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care and services and truly have each individual’s comfort in mind.

Why Choose Us

we provide

Exceptional Service

Individualized treatment plans and patient care.

we treat you

Not Just Your Symptoms

Comprehensive Care

Comprehensive pain management that identifies the source of your pain and provides access to progressive treatments

access t0

Medical Specialists

Board Certified & Fellowship trained providers.

Find a Treatment

Select a treatment box below to learn more or use the search bar to find a specific treatment page.

Injections /  Implants / Infusions / Medication Management

meet the team 

Our Providers

The skilled and progressive doctors at Pain and Spine Specialists are able to determine if you are a good candidate for a spinal cord stimulator.

The medical professionals at PASS are able to provide you with access to up-to-date information on pain management treatments for more effective management of your chronic pain needs.  

I Love the way they all listen to you no matter what it's about. I Love how they make sure your feeling fine & how they find other ways to help you. They are a wonderful team & I am so glad I found them.

Rubin Bungard

Dr Rao is MY Absolute Favorite Doctor! Love him! His staff at Mt Airy and in Frederick, Maryland are the best of the best. Caring, kind and very friendly. I would recommend anyone to seek out Dr Rao and his staff in a heartbeat.

Randee Fischer

I LOVE this place. Dr B. and Dr Rao saved my life. In 2014, I could only walk about 15ft and had to use a wheelchair. It happened so quickly to me. I had extreme pain in my back, and legs. My other pain management wouldn't help at all.

Kathleen Tibbs

Get In Touch

At Pain and Spine Specialists we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. We provide tailored services with each individual’s comfort in mind.

Call Us


Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Find a Location Near You

Find A Location

Patient Forms

New Patient Forms