Vincent Depaulis has led a full and active life. He grew up around his father’s restaurant business in Michigan and developed a passion for cooking, gardening as well as fishing. Years later, after enjoying an engineering career in the auto industry, Depaulis fully committed himself to doing those three activities as much as possible in his retirement years.

Unfortunately, nagging, and even debilitating, back pain cut into Vincent’s plans. The pain stemmed from an injury when he was younger and was exacerbated by activity through the years. By his mid-70s, the rarely idle senior was running out of answers. He turned to cortisone shots for years, but the time windows without pain grew shorter and shorter, and his will and determination could only take him so far.

“It zaps all your strength. I couldn’t go fishing. I couldn’t do my gardening … even cooking became difficult because you’re standing so much,” he said.

At 76, he met with specialists at The CORE Institute, a move that has Depaulis now feeling younger than he’s felt in years. “I go to the gym. I don’t eat processed foods or sweets. My weight is right where it should be. … I want a good quality of life. I want to keep fishing until I’m 90,” he added.

Ablation technology changes everything

Depaulis worked with The CORE Institute’s Dr. Michael Slesinski, a pain management physician who suggested a radiofrequency ablation procedure for the back pain. The treatment involves using a hollow needle with a probe inside it. Radio waves heat the probe’s tip and allow it to burn sensitive nerves in painful joint areas, decreasing pain signals to the body, explained Dr. Slesinski.

A couple days after the short outpatient procedure, Depaulis felt like a new man.

“Your pain is never completely gone, but it’s about 85 percent gone. It has left me with a great quality of life,” he said.

With his new lease on life, Depaulis also turned to the ablation technology for neck and knee pain. In the past four years, he has also made The CORE Institute his go-to for all his pain management needs; he has utilized non-operative reparative treatments and other pain treatments as well.

“I like to check in with them. … I’m a frequent visitor,” he added. “I don’t mind sharing my story with other individuals, too. I don’t mind talking about all that they’ve done for me.”

Depaulis’ experience also motivates others, including his own doctor.

“It’s the whole reason I went into physical medicine and rehabilitation,” Dr. Slesinski said. “You’re really not just focusing on pain, you’re focusing on transforming these people’s lives and being able to improve their function and to get them back to doing the things they really want to do.”

For an active adult like Depaulis, getting back to the things he loves, without pain, is his prescription for a joyful life.


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