Itching during trial

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/8/2009 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Folks, I have been lurking and learning, but now have a question. Did anyone else experience pretty severe itching during the trial or use of the unit? I believe my settings are moderate to high range 6.20 intensity on both leads, and 60' frequency. I am itching all over! Seems to be only when unit is on, so I am assuming it is the stimulation. I am taking same pain meds as before, without problem (Norco, and Fentanyl Patch 12.5mg/hr).
I had my Medtronics simulator placed on Monday 7/6, for a 4 day trial. I want to go to 7 days, but doc hasn't called me back yet. I need the unit adjusted, because in order to get relief in my back, I have to use a higher intensity, but then I do not like the sensation in my lower legs and feet. I am meeting with the rep tomorrow to make adjustments. A 3 day trial is ridiculous in my opinion, as I am on day 3 and still very sore at the incision site and where the unit is on my back. I feel I need additional days to fine tune it to see how it really would be. This is a huge decision!
I am an Occupational Therapist, so my job is very physical. Does anyone else have a similar type of position and what was the time off period after permanent implant for people like me?
Thanks in advance.

Stella Marie
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 7/8/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I have an Advanced Bionics unit and I have never experienced any itching. I have had my unit for about 4 years now. If I remember correctly, my trial lasted about 6 days. I also experienced pain and discomfort the first few days at the incision site on my back. In fact, I had trouble at first finding a comfortable position. I agree, you need at least 48 post surgery to begin your evaluation of the unit. During the first 24 - 48 hours you are recovering from the incision surgery and are trying to normalize everything so that you can get a true reading as to whether the unit works for you. Good luck.

Stella Marie

Co-Forum Moderator for Chronic Pain

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, central apnea, collagenous colitis, pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump  & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 7/8/2009 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Post implant I had that problem for a little bit. It was because the leads were irritating a nerve. I went to my osteopath for a massage & he manipulated the tissues around the irritated nerve. I will say that it is a really, really bad idea to try that without your surgeon's input & blessing. It can cause the SCS to stop working permanently, so you would need to evaluate the risks & potential benefits with your surgeon, but it really did help me out a lot.

The Boston Scientific rep told me that it is a rare side effect, but that it does occasionally happen. They didn't have any recommendations. I came up with the suggestion on my own, asked my osteopath whether he was willing to do it, then talked with my PM who did the implant to ask what the risks were & whether he would continue to treat me if it permanently screwed up the SCS (& he was). As it turned out, the itching went away after several treatments with the osteopath.

feel better,
Moderator -- Depression Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 7/9/2009 4:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a Medtronic implant and I get itchy when my rate is set too high.

When you're using multiple programs at the same time, you have to account for the programs cycling when you set the rate, because it can have an almost multiplying effect. I use 4 programs at once and keep my rate set around 20-35 and I get the same sensation as I would have if I set a single program at 60-75. If I were to have all 4 programs running at a rate of 60-75, it would drive me right out of my skull. smhair

As far as how much time off after the permanent implant - that depends a lot on the type of leads you have and the location. I recommend taking the absolute maximum amount of time you can take, though. I've never once heard a person say their implant was messed up because they took too much time off and allowed too much scar tissue to form before returning to more intense physical activities. wink
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