This intro to neuromodulation was provided by the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS). To learn more, please visit: www.neuromodulation.org

1.  Neuromodulation improves the quality of life for patients in pain.

The Institute of Medicine has estimated that chronic pain affects more than 100 million American adults— more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Pain can affect an individual’s ability to function and perform simple routine tasks. Neuromodulation treatment can enable people to resume daily activities, including returning to work.

2.  Neuromodulation can be applied through different techniques.

Neuromodulation comprises multiple treatment modalities including spinal cord stimulation, spinal drug delivery systems, sacral stimulation, brain stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation and peripheral nerve field stimulation. These treatments should only be administered or provided by a trained physician who specializes in this type of care.

3.  Neuromodulation is FDA approved and has been used for more than a quarter century.

Extensive research and clinical trials have documented neuromodulation’s safety and ability to decrease chronic pain and improve the quality of life for people in pain.

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4.  Potential neuromodulation patients can “test drive” the modality.

Neuromodulation is administered via minimally invasive techniques, a unique treatment that allows the patient to “test drive” during an incisionless trial before final consideration of the device’s insertion. During the trial, the patient can experience the relief that neuromodulation will provide, allowing a more informed decision on whether to proceed with permanent insertion.

5.  Neuromodulation implants can be removed.

Once implemented, the device can be removed if the patient chooses to stop treatment. The procedure is reversible.

6.  Neuromodulation alleviates or lessens pain without putting patients into a “drug fog.”

By relieving pain with neurostimulation or a spinal drug-delivery system (which provides microdoses of medicine), the patient can avoid many side effects of oral medications, including excessive sedation or cognitive impairment.

7.  There are neuromodulation specialists in your area.

There are approximately 1,000 members of NANS located across the United States. Membership includes physicians of multiple backgrounds, all of whom specialize in pain, spasticity and/or movement disorders. To find a local member, visit www.neuromodulation.org.

8.  Neuromodulation procedures are covered by most medical insurance and Medicare programs.

As with all medical procedures, patients must check with their insurance plan to receive proper approvals. A doctor’s office can help obtain insurance authorization for this therapy.

9.  Patient care is of the utmost importance to neuromodulation specialists.

Members of NANS are concerned first and foremost with the care given to their patients and the impact neuromodulation has on their patients’ lives.

10. Neuromodulation is NOT science fiction.

Scientific advances and expanding clinical indications will continue to fuel the growth of this dynamic field, but the relief it can bring to pain sufferers is a reality today. {PP}

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