Living With a Neurostimulator
If you have received a neurostimulation system, there are things you can do daily to support your therapy. One is to make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions. Another is to get support from people who care about you.
Follow your doctor’s instructions
Living with a neurostimulation system may mean you have to be careful about which activities you do. Ask your doctor about activities that are safe for you and which activities you should avoid.
Restrictions may include:
- Do not use your programmer where flammable or explosive gases are present.
- Do not drive vehicles, operate heavy machinery or use power tools while your system is on. This is because the stimulation you receive from your system can vary in intensity. This variability can be distracting, making it unsafe to drive a car or operate machinery. You can, however, ride as a passenger with your system turned on.
- Do not use any commercial electrical or communication equipment that involves exposure to electric fields and/or electromechanical interferences (for example, arc welders or high-power amateur transmitters).
You will receive a user’s guide from your doctor that lists all of your restrictions. For spinal cord stimulation systems, see more safety information.
Living with a neurostimulation system can be life changing. As you continue to heal and learn about your system, you may benefit from:
- Listening to the stories of others who have had similar experiences, and sharing your stories with them
- Letting family and friends know how you are doing and what they can do to help
Healthy connection tips
As you progress in your recovery and learn more about living with a neurostimulation system:
- Ask your medical team, hospital or clinic about patient support groups that you can join.
- Consider volunteering with groups that help others learn about chronic pain and living with neurostimulation.
- Give frequent updates to your friends and family. Some may be curious and others will want to help. Some may not know how to react—health concerns can raise confusing emotions. Know that even if they can’t express themselves in the way you want, they likely want to hear from you and support you.
- Talk to your doctor right away if you have problems with your system, activities, notice a change in your health or have concerns.