If you suffer from chronic pain, peripheral nerve stimulation (commonly referred to as PNS) is a procedure that can provide substantial pain relief. PNS is a pain management treatment technique that involves implanting a small electrical device (a wire-like electrode) next to one of the peripheral nerves to control pain. When the electrodes are turned on, they introduce a small, weak amount of electrical pulses to the targeted nerve to help mask the pain - for patients, the electrical pulses feel like a mild tingling sensation.
How does the procedure work?
PNS is performed in a two-step process.
First, a patient goes through a temporary trial where a temporary electrode is placed along the painful nerve. During the trail, the temporary electrode is connected to an external power battery that the patient controls. Typically, the temporary electrode is left in place for a few days so that the patient can determine if PNS is helpful with easing the pain. After the trial period, the electrode is removed by your pain management doctor and the success of the trail is determined.
If the trial is successful, a permanent electrode is surgically inserted in the patient. Along with the electrode, a small internal battery pack is also inserted and hidden under the patient’s skin. The battery pack is similar to a pacemaker, and it will allow the patient to turn the device on and off through the use of a remote control.
Some many view this procedure as intimidating. However, it shouldn’t be viewed that way. PNS is a simple procedure that provides tremendous pain relief - and best of all, patients will see benefits from this procedure almost immediately.