• Electrical stimulation for the control of pain is now a well accepted therapeutic modality. Transcutaneous application of electrical stimulation is the most common technique employed and has been used to treat chronic pain, acute surgical pain, and acute pain of other origins. Percutaneous application of electricity to the nervous system through needle electrodes is useful in predicting the efficacy of implantable stimulators and has served the same function as diagnostic nerve block. Implantable stimulators have been used for stimulation of peripheral nerves, the anterior and posterior surfaces of the spinal cord, and the brain. Peripheral nerve stimulators are the most efficacious of the implantable devices. They are used specifically for pain of peripheral nerve injury origin. Their use for pain outside the distribution of the nerve stimulated is not yet proved.
(Arch Surg 112:884-888, 1977)