Neuromodulation is a general word that refers to activity within the human nervous system. Neuromodulation for treating pain refers to the use of highly specialized technology that can alter the function of the human nervous system.
For example, electrical stimulation may be introduced to various parts of the body, either through the skin (called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS) or into deeper areas of the body using needles or surgically implanted devices called spinal cord stimulators. Drugs can be delivered through implanted devices called “drug pumps.”
Neuromodulation is an exciting and growing field within the specialty of pain medicine. While TENS has been around for a long time, newer technologies such as the drug pumps, peripheral and spinal cord stimulators and devices to deliver electrical stimulation to the human brain are much newer, advanced and more effective; under the right circumstances. Doctors using these devices to treat pain require extensive training and are generally board-certified anesthesiologists or neurological surgeons.