1 Recommendations


Spinal cord stimulation is recommended as a treatment option for adults with chronic pain of neuropathic origin who:

  • continue to experience chronic pain (measuring at least 50 mm on a 0–100 mm visual analogue scale) for at least 6 months despite appropriate conventional medical management, and

  • who have had a successful trial of stimulation as part of the assessment specified in recommendation 1.3.


Spinal cord stimulation is not recommended as a treatment option for adults with chronic pain of ischaemic origin except in the context of research as part of a clinical trial. Such research should be designed to generate robust evidence about the benefits of spinal cord stimulation (including pain relief, functional outcomes and quality of life) compared with standard care.


Spinal cord stimulation should be provided only after an assessment by a multidisciplinary team experienced in chronic pain assessment and management of people with spinal cord stimulation devices, including experience in the provision of ongoing monitoring and support of the person assessed.


When assessing the severity of pain and the trial of stimulation, the multidisciplinary team should be aware of the need to ensure equality of access to treatment with spinal cord stimulation. Tests to assess pain and response to spinal cord stimulation should take into account a person's disabilities (such as physical or sensory disabilities), or linguistic or other communication difficulties, and may need to be adapted.


If different spinal cord stimulation systems are considered to be equally suitable for a person, the least costly should be used. Assessment of cost should take into account acquisition costs, the anticipated longevity of the system, the stimulation requirements of the person with chronic pain and the support package offered.


People who are currently using spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic pain of ischaemic origin should have the option to continue treatment until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)