Skip to main content

Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) system device support

Using household appliances and tools

Understanding electromagnetic safety

Tens of thousands of patients worldwide rely on Boston Scientific technology for relief from pain. The effectiveness of Boston Scientific pain management solutions has also been proven in a number of important clinical studies and trials.

The goal of Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) therapy is to get you back to the things you enjoy in everyday life. Understand the facts about electromagnetic interference and your device to stay safe in every situation. 

All items that use electricity or transmit wireless signals have invisible electromagnetic fields around them that may temporarily interfere with your Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) system. This is called electromagnetic interference, or EMI for short.

Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Stimulator systems are designed to work properly around most electrical devices. However, some items may affect how your device works. While these effects are usually temporary, we recommend using the following guidelines for safe interaction.

Older husband and wife in the airport looking at a mobile device

EMI and your device

When you are close to equipment that generates strong electromagnetic fields, it can interfere with your device. Effects include turning your stimulator off or even increasing the stimulation level. 

If you experience uncomfortable stimulation, turn off the stimulator. If the stimulator suddenly turns off by itself, move away from the area. Next, check the stimulation status with the remote control by pressing the unlock button and observing the screen. The implant may need to be recharged before stimulation can be restarted. Refer to your charging handbook for further information. The following items have especially strong electromagnetic fields and you should avoid or exercise extra precautions when you are around them:

  • Airport security screening devices and theft detectors, such as those used at entrances/exits of department stores, libraries and other public establishments. We recommend that you request assistance to bypass the device. If you must proceed through the device, turn off the stimulator and move through the center of the screener
  • Tag deactivators, such as those found in retail stores and libraries
  • Power lines or power generators
  • Electric steel furnaces and arc welders
  • Large, magnetized stereo speakers. 

SCS and your cell phone

While we don’t anticipate any interference caused by cell phones, the full effects of interaction with cell phones and your SCS device are unknown at this time. If you have a concern or problems, please contact your Boston Scientific representative.

We’re here to help

Our patient services team is here to support you throughout your SCS journey.

(866) 360-4747

Available 6 am to 5 pm PT, Monday through Friday

Indications for Use: The Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems are indicated as an aid in the management of chronic intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs including unilateral or bilateral pain associated with the following: failed back surgery syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Types I and II, intractable low back pain and leg pain. Associated conditions and etiologies may be: radicular pain syndrome, radiculopathies resulting in pain secondary to failed back syndrome or herniated disc, epidural fibrosis, degenerative disc disease (herniated disc pain refractory to conservative and surgical interventions), arachnoiditis, multiple back surgeries.

Contraindications. The Spinal Cord Stimulator systems are not for patients who are unable to operate the system, have failed trial stimulation by failing to receive effective pain relief, are poor surgical candidates, or are pregnant.

MRI icon

Boston Scientific’s ImageReady™ MRI Technology makes safe MRI head scans possible. Patients implanted with the Precision Spectra™ or Spectra WaveWriter™ Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems with ImageReady™ MRI Technology are "MR Conditional" only when exposed to the MRI environment under the specific conditions defined in the applicable ImageReady™ MRI Head Only Guidelines for Precision Spectra™ or Spectra WaveWriter™ Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems.

MRI icon

Boston Scientific’s ImageReady™ MRI Full Body Technology makes safe MRI scans possible. The Precision Montage™ MRI, WaveWriter Alpha™ and WaveWriter Alpha™ Prime SCS Systems with ImageReady™ MRI Full Body Technology are “MR Conditional” only when exposed to the MRI environment under the specific conditions defined in the applicable ImageReady™ MRI Full Body Guidelines for Precision Montage™ MRI or WaveWriter Alpha™ and WaveWriter Alpha™ Prime Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems.

Warnings. Patients implanted with Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Stimulator Systems without ImageReady™ MRI Technology should not be exposed to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Exposure to MRI may result in dislodgement of the stimulator or leads, heating of the stimulator, severe damage to the stimulator electronics and an uncomfortable or jolting sensation. As a Spinal Cord Stimulation patient, you should not have diathermy as either a treatment for a medical condition or as part of a surgical procedure. Strong electromagnetic fields, such as power generators or theft detection systems, can potentially turn the stimulator off, or cause uncomfortable jolting stimulation. The system should not be charged while sleeping. The Spinal Cord Stimulator system may interfere with the operation of implanted sensing stimulators such as pacemakers or implanted cardiac defibrillators. Advise your physician that you have a Spinal Cord Stimulator before going through with other implantable device therapies so that medical decisions can be made and appropriate safety measures taken. Patients using therapy that generates paresthesia should not operate motorized vehicles such as automobiles or potentially dangerous machinery and equipment with the stimulation on. Stimulation must be turned off first in such cases. For therapy that does not generate paresthesia (i.e. subperception therapy) it is less likely that sudden stimulation changes resulting in distraction could occur while having stimulation on when operating moving vehicles, machinery, and equipment. Your doctor may be able to provide additional information on the Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Stimulator systems. For complete indications for use, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and side effects, call 866.360.4747 or visit Pain.com.

Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.