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New Treatment Offers Spinal Cord Stimulation without Tingling

Updated on October 17, 2015
Steven Richeimer profile image

Steven Richeimer, M.D. is a renowned specialist on issues related to chronic pain. He is the chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at USC.

Those who suffer from chronic pain associated with the low back, trunk, or limbs may find some relief in a new treatment that has recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The treatment adds one more option for those in need, and the additional good news is that it reportedly also does not cause a tingling sensation. With this new treatment, those with chronic pain may find some relief, without additional things to worry about!

The treatment that has been approved is called Senza Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system, or the Senza System. The system was created by the Nevro Corporation, located in Menlo, Calif. Research using the system found that the Senza System was helpful in chronic pain management for those with trunk or limb pain associated with failed back surgery syndrome, low back pain, and leg pain (1). Chronic pain is defined as that which lasts for at least 12 weeks.

There were 198 people involved in the testing of the system, all of whom experienced chronic pain of the trunk or limbs. What they found is that three quarters of the participants had a 50 percent reduction in pain after using the system for a three-month period. After a year of using it they found those people had a 55 percent reduction in chronic pain.

The Senza System uses a high frequency stimulator (10 KHz) and low stimulation amplitudes. It does not cause any type of tingling sensation, known as parethesia, which is caused by pressure or damage to the peripheral nerves. Those who use the system are put on a one- to two-week trial to try the device out, before it is surgically implanted through a minimally invasive procedure. The trial period gives patients a chance to see if it is helping, before going forward with the surgery for longer use. The device is implanted in either the abdomen or upper buttocks region.

Once implanted, the Senza System delivers electrical stimulation to the thoracolumbar area in the spinal cord. While it is first programmed by a clinician, the patient can use a remote control device to control the pulse within pre-programmed ranges. The FDA has approved this treatment as one more tool that can help with chronic pain management. Increasingly, there are more options for those who suffer from chronic pain, bringing relief and hope to many!

Richeimer M.D., S. (2015, June 29). STRESS AND PAIN: EXPLORING THE CAUSAL CONNECTION [Blog post]. Retrieved from


1. FDA. FDA approves spinal cord stimulation system that treats pain without tingling sensation.


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