In October 2008 the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued guidance supporting the use of spinal cord stimulation for people with chronic neuropathic pain, considering it to be a cost-effective use of resources within the NHS. This paper will provide an overview of chronic neuropathic pain. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) will be explained, including the physiological mechanism and technology behind this treatment. The recent NICE guidance will be discussed along with information relating to the potential impact the guidance will have on Primary Care Trusts, GPs and community practitioners. A guide is provided for clinicians in primary care regarding access to this treatment and routes for referral.
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