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Optimizing Your Pain Therapy

Spinal Cord Stimulation for Intractable Chronic Pain

There are a number of things you can do to help ensure you get the most from spinal cord stimulation. Take an active role in your pain therapy by following these suggestions.

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor.
  • As your activities vary throughout the day, your pain may change. Your patient programmer allows you to turn stimulation on and off, switch from one group to another, and adjust parameters.
  • Get comfortable with your patient programmer so you can adjust parameters as needed.
  • Follow the treatment plan developed by your doctor, including sessions with a physical therapist as prescribed.
  • Tell your doctor if you are not feeling well, if you are having problems with your therapy, or if you are not receiving adequate pain relief.
  • Be aware of the remaining battery life in your neurostimulator. If you have a rechargeable device, use your patient programmer to check your battery level. If you have a non-rechargeable neurostimulator, your doctor will be able to tell you how much battery life is left.
  • If you have a rechargeable device, regularly charge the neurostimulator to keep the charge level from depleting to the point where stimulation will stop. Make it a habit to recharge while watching a movie or your favorite TV show.
  • Avoid activities requiring excessive twisting or stretching that put undue stress on the implanted components. This could lead to damage or movement of parts and a loss of stimulation.
  • Join the Living Well Program. Living Well was created to provide patients with information and resources needed to live successfully with an implantable Medtronic pain device and continue to reach their goals.
  • Review your goals regularly with your doctor. Are you achieving them? Is your neurostimulator helping you reach your goals? What adjustments need to be made?

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.