Tag Archives: spinal cord stimulator

I have just got back from Christchurch. Every 10 weeks, I travel to Burwood Hospital for treatment. I sit there for a few hours, swap stories with the other regulars (some of whom feel like old friends), then I’m off home again.  It’s a nice, quiet and occasionally very entertaining few hours. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to witness something quite remarkable: a patient comes in to have their implant tuned.  These “lucky” people have been fitted with a spinal-cord stimulator, an electronic substitute for painkilling drugs.  A small voltage generator is implanted under the skin, with a bunch of electrodes leading to various points along the spinal cord.  Very small voltages transmitted through these electrodes interfere with the pain signals travelling up the spinal cord to the brain. Result?  no more pain! Except sometimes some fine tuning is required, hence the following conversation overheard between patient and nurse: Patient (pale,…

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