Adaptive Stimulation

Medtronic is continually advancing spinal cord stimulation to improve quality of life for people with chronic pain. One of these innovations is known as adaptive stimulation, or AdaptiveStim.® This new technology automatically adapts to changes in pain as you switch positions.

Throughout each day, you change position repeatedly – from sitting to lying down, from lying down to standing up. As you change positions, your spinal cord may move closer to or further from the electrodes that send out the mild electrical pulses. A stimulation level that blocks your pain when you're standing may be uncomfortable when you're lying down. As a result, your stimulation level may need to be adjusted for continued comfort.

Before AdaptiveStim technology, this adjustment would have to be made manually with a programmer. AdaptiveStim, available only with RestoreSensor,® automatically and conveniently adjusts stimulation levels for you.

What Patients Say About Adaptive Stimulation

Harmony Video
"It has changed my life tremendously...I go to the Mall of America and I don't have to sit down every 5 minutes from pain. I can do chores around the house. I can go camping."

Personalized Pain Management

AdaptiveStim remembers the stimulation level that you have chosen in each position and automatically adjusts the setting the next time you move into that position. AdaptiveStim, available only from Medtronic:

  • Senses when you change position
  • Learns from previous experience and remembers your last comfortable setting while upright (standing or sitting), lying down, or upright and active (e.g., jogging) 
  • Responds by automatically adjusting stimulation to your optimal settings in each position

What Patients Say About Adaptive Stimulation

Marty Video
"I say set it and forget it, that's the way it works with me."

How AdaptiveStim Works

AdaptiveStim uses an accelerometer similar to what is used in smart phones and gaming devices to detect a change in position. Just as a smart phone knows if it's being used vertically or horizontally and adjusts the screen image, AdaptiveStim knows if you are upright, or lying down and automatically adjusts to your programmed settings.

Proven Effective

An FDA-approved clinical study on RestoreSensor with AdaptiveStim found:

  • 90.1% of clinical study patients said they intend to leave AdaptiveStim turned on all or most of the time or turn it on or off as needed.1
  • 86.5% of clinical study patients reported improved pain relief and/or improved convenience1
  • 80.3% of clinical study patients reported improved in comfort during position changes1

Learn more about Harmony and Marty's experience before and after adaptive stimulation on tamethepain.com


  1. Medtronic advanced pain therapy using neurostimulation for chronic pain. Clinical summary. 2011; M221494A006.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 16 Oct 2015

Section Navigation

Additional information

Take Charge

Get Ongoing Support

Considering a pain therapy?

Receiving a pain therapy?


Contact Us

Medtronic Patient Services
work (800) 510-6735
Tame the Pain Information Line
work (888) 430-PAIN (7246)