Living With a Neurostimulator or Drug Pump

Once your Medtronic drug pump or neurostimulator is implanted and the implant site is healed, you and your doctor will work together to develop a pain management program. That program may include other types of therapies in addition to your Medtronic device, like physical therapy and exercise, with the goal of helping you to restore function for daily living.

After Surgery

During the first few weeks after the procedure, you may have special instructions from your doctor.
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Daily Living

People who have success with Medtronic Pain Therapies report an increased ability to perform their daily activities. (The amount of pain relief varies from person to person.)1-16
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Programming Your Neurostimulator

Receiving optimal therapy may require you to adjust settings on your neurostimulator with your MyStim programmer.

Recharging Your Neurostimulator

Rechargeable neurostimulators contain a battery that must be recharged regularly to maintain the therapy.

Getting an MRI

If you ever need an MRI, here’s what you and your doctor should know.
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Getting a Replacement

Although neurostimulators and drug pumps are designed to last for several years without replacement, you can talk to your doctor about replacement procedures.
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Optimizing Therapy

Learn how to get the most from your therapy.
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Ask Hank and Grace

Hank has been receiving drug delivery therapy since 1993, and Grace has been receiving neurostimulation therapy since 2002. See their answers to questions about living with their therapy.
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Product Support

Both your doctor and Medtronic can help if you have questions about your system.

Doctors Answer Questions

Doctors with years of experience with Medtronic Pain Therapies have answered some of the common questions their patients ask about Medtronic Pain Therapies.

Personal Stories

Read about the experiences of people who have received our products and therapies. You’ll learn first-hand what life was like for these particular patients, both before and after treatment.


  1. North R, Kidd D, Zuhurak, M, et al. Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic, Intractable Pain: Experience Over Two Decades. Neurosurgery 1993;32 384-395.
  2. Kumar K, Toth C, Nath R, et al. Epidural Spinal Cord Stimulation for Treatment of Chronic Pain—Some Predictors of Success. A 15-Year Experience. Surg Neurol 1998;50:110-121.
  3. De La Porte C, Van de Kelft E. Spinal Cord Stimulation in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. Pain 1993;52:55-61.
  4. Devulder J, De Laat M, Van Bastalaere M, et al. Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Valuable Treatment for Chronic Failed Back Surgery Patients. J Pain Symptom Manage 1997;13:296-301.
  5. Burchiel K, Anderson V, et al. Prospective, Multicenter Study of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Relief of Chronic Back and Extremity Pain. Spine 1996;21:2786-2794.
  6. Turner J, Loeser J, Bell K. Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Literature Synthesis. Neurosurgery 1995;37:1088-1096.
  7. Onofrio BM, Yaksh TL. Long-Term Pain Relief Produced by Intrathecal Infusion in 53 Patients. J Neurosurg 1990; 72: 200-209.
  8. Winkelmuller M, Winkelmuller W. Long-Term Effects of Continuous Intrathecal Opioid Treatment in Chronic Pain of Nonmalignant Etiology. J Neurosurg 1996; 85: 458-467.
  9. Paice JA, Penn RD, Shott S. Intraspinal Morphine for Chronic Pain: A Retrospective, Multicenter Study. J Pain Symptom Manage 1996; 11(2): 71-80.
  10. Lamer TJ. Treatment of Cancer-Related Pain: When Orally Administered Medications Fail. Mayo Clin Proc 1994; 69:473-480.
  11. Portenoy RK. Management of Common Opioid Side Effects During Long-Term Therapy of Cancer Pain. Ann Acad Med 1994; 23:160-170.
  12. Kumar K, et al. Spinal cord stimulation versus conventional medical management for neuropathic pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Pain. 2007;132(1-2):179-88.
  13. Kumar K, et al. The effects of spinal cord stimulation in neuropathic pain are sustained: a 24-month follow-up of the prospective randomized controlled multicenter trial of the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation. Neurosurgery. 2008;63(4):762-70.
  14. Harke H, Gretenkort P, Ladleif HU, Rahman S. Spinal cord stimulation in sympathetically maintained complex regional pain syndrome Type I with severe disability. A prospective clinical study. Eur J Pain. 2005;9:363-373.
  15. Deer T, Chapple I, Classen A, et al. Intrathecal drug delivery for treatment of chronic low back pain: report from the National Outcomes Registry for Low Back Pain. Pain Med.2004;5(1):6-13.
  16. Roberts LJ, Finch PM, Goucke CR, Price LM. Outcome of intrathecal opioids in chronic non-cancer pain. Eur J Pain. 2001;5(4):353-361.


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: 18 Feb 2013

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