Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) is a technique of sending small electrical impulses to the nerve responsible for pain. The electric impulses cause stimulation which blocks the pain signal travelling to your brain. However, the amount of pain relief varies from person to person.
The procedure involves placing electrodes under the skin near to the nerve that is causing the pain. Once the electrodes are placed, a weak electric current is administered to the nerve which is experienced as a tingling sensation. The electric current stimulates the non-painful sensory pathway which tricks the brain into turning off the painful signals. This is the most effective way of relieving pain.
PNS is usually a two-step process. Initially, a temporary trial electrode connected to an external power supply is placed for a week or so. This helps to determine whether the stimulation is helpful. If the stimulator is not helpful, it is removed. If benefited, then the temporary trial electrode is replaced with a permanent electrode and then connected to an internal battery pack. You may return to your normal activities of daily living once the electrode is in place.
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. It is an extremely safe and efficient treatment for severe pain conditions.