What is Neuromodulation?

Can you really wipe out years of pain at the flick of a switch? Dr Simon Thomson says yes, by using neuromodulation. Want to find out more? Read on …

Neuromodulation is a form of pain relief used to treat and enhance quality of life in individuals who suffer severe chronic illness due to persistent pain, spasticity, movement disorders, epilepsy, ischaemia, cardiac, bowel and bladder dysfunction, spinal injury, visual, auditory and specific psychiatric disorders.

The most common treatment is spinal cord stimulation and the most common indication is the persistent severe neuropathic pain found in those who have had technically successful spinal decompression surgery, but who have had recurrence or persistence of symptoms.

Neuropathic pain is generated by nervous tissue itself and is a disordered response to nerve injury of either the central nervous system (spine and brain) or peripheral nervous system (in areas of the body beyond the spine and brain). It is only in recent times that mainstream medicine and the healthcare systems around the world are taking note of the societal burden of neuropathic pain.

In appropriately selected patients, neuromodulation can be effective to modify nerve activity, delivering mild electrical stimulation or drugs to relieve pain or restore function. These treatments encompass a growing variety of methods that target the brain or nervous system at specific locations in the body, delivering mild electrical stimulation or drugs to relieve pain or restore function.

Dr. Simon Thomson founded the Neuromodulation Society of UK and Ireland in 2000 and is currently serving as President of the International Neuromodulation Society (INS). The INS is the fastest growing, multidisciplinary and representative worldwide body dedicated to the scientific development and knowledge dissemination of neuromodulation. It provides leadership and a forum for clinical and scientific endeavour into this exciting and sometimes novel medical discipline.Dr Thomson has a specialist interest in multidisciplinary pain management and neuromodulation for pain and other disorders. He was the first in the UK to publish long term outcomes of Spinal Cord Stimulation and has contributed chapters to textbooks on pain management and neurostimulation for pain.

He has developed care pathways for neuromodulation, back pain, chronic refractory angina, critical limb ischaemia and pathways and education for primary care management of pain. He is currently embarked on developing a UK national database for all neuromodulation devices and high quality clinical research on refractory angina, facet joint injections and quantitative sensory testing before and after spinal cord stimulation.

Dr Thomson practices privately at Chelmsford Medical Centre and recently carried out the Centre’s first neuromodulation procedure. For more information on neuromodulation, please visit To make an appointment with Dr Thomson, please call us on 01245 253760.

Date: 05/12/2012
By: Richard George