Pain management physician at Johns Hopkins recommends pharma tech undergo Calmare Therapy for RSD pain

Amy Horwitz headshotForty-six-year-old Amy Horwitz is a bigger-than-life, vivacious, “mover and shaker”. So when complications from a 2010 neck surgery left her immobilized and bedridden, her whole life was turned upside down. She was no longer the care-free, independent woman she used to be. Not only did Amy become dependent on a cane or walker to get around, but her husband had to quit his job to stay home and care for her.

She knew it was time to seek professional help to figure out the source of her never-ending chronic pain. “I felt like I had a boa constrictor going around my legs. I felt pain everywhere from my head to my toes,” Amy explains. “My pain was literally off the charts.”

The former pharma tech is handed scripts for painkillers

Amy's hand before Calmare Therapy

Amy’s hand before Calmare Therapy

Desperate for relief, Amy visited several highly regarded medical specialists, including an orthopedist and a neurosurgeon. But instead of receiving a diagnosis, she was told that her pain was psychogenic (in the mind) and she received a myriad of prescriptions for antidepressants, muscle relaxants and strong narcotics, including the highly addictive Oxycotin. As a former pharmaceutical tech, Amy was well aware of the debilitating side effects of these narcotics, some of which she had experienced firsthand. “I wanted relief─but did not want to live my life dependent on expensive and dangerous pain medications,” says Amy.

Amy and her husband face the source of her chronic pain–head-on

Disappointed but not defeated, Amy took matters into her own hands. With the help of her devoted husband, they conducted extensive research of her symptoms on the Internet and agreed in their mutual self-diagnosis of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). She immediately made an appointment with a top RSD specialist at John Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center. After hearing of Amy’s desire for a drug-free solution to her chronic pain,  her doctor  recommended a newer treatment for pain that tricks the brain’s pain signal and is showing great results for RSD sufferers–Calmare Therapy

Calmare uses a biophysical (using physical methods to treat biological problems) rather than a biochemical (drugs) approach to pain management. It is a pain-free, non-invasive treatment for nerve pain that uses electrodes placed on the skin to deliver a ‘no-pain’ message directly to the nerve. After Amy’s online research turned up numerous success stories from RSD patients treated with Calmare Therapy, she was finally feeling hopeful. She left her home in Maryland and headed to the Rutherford Allied Medical Group in NJ to meet Dr. Cooney, the man with the machine that she hoped would give her back her life.

Amy's hand after treatment.

Amy’s hand after treatment.

When Amy first arrived at Dr. Cooney’s office on May 20, 2013, her pain was a 10 / 10 on the Pain Scale. After just one 45-minute Calmare treatment, she started to feel immediate relief. After nine more sessions, one per day, her pain level dropped to 2 / 10. “The swelling on my hands had gone down and the pain in my legs had significantly improved. I am finally able to move on my own. I can honestly say I feel like myself again for the first time in years,” says Amy. She is still amazed by the fact that she can grab a glass and put ice in it herself. “It is an incredible feat for me,” laughs Amy.

She is very grateful to Dr. Cooney for making it possible. “I can’t believe how lucky I was to have met him,” she says. “He is the nicest doctor I have ever known– caring, considerate, thoughtful, great bedside manner–and most of all–a great heart. I don’t know what I would have done without him.”

Amy starts on her own mission to help others with RSD

While Amy is not completely pain-free, she says she can finally see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Now she wants other people suffering from chronic pain to see that light as well. She has already referred several patients from her RSD support group to Calmare Therapy and she’s planning to call as many media outlets as she can in Maryland to tell them about this side-effect-free treatment for many kinds of chronic pain.

Amy does not know what her future will bring. She hopes to try yoga and ride a rollercoaster again. But one thing she knows for sure is that, “I’m moving and I’m not stopping  ever again.”

16 responses to “Pain management physician at Johns Hopkins recommends pharma tech undergo Calmare Therapy for RSD pain

  1. I was just reading about Johns Hopkins pain clinic last night. I actually had surgery there in 2011 but I had already had 3 back surgeries and my Dr. told me he was just stabilizing my back and not promising relief. I think I may have another herniated disk. My hometown Dr. has set up an MRI but I don’t trust my ” pain” Dr.- it is a racket.I went to my pain clinic to get my ” monthly” medication and left in tears. I have asked about having nerve ablation and he just blows me off. I’m now having migraines. He just wants to give me meds and walks out.I want to be off pain meds and figure out treatment plans. My life is spinning out of control along with my marriage of 34 years. I’m in constant pain and I don’t want to leave my house. I think about suicide every day. I have good insurance with a state health plan- Blue Cross Blue Sheild. If anyone knows how I can get in there fast I’m ready.

    • Dear Ms. Melton, First, thank you for sharing your difficult situation. We would be happy to talk privately with you about your chronic pain situation. Please call us at 201.933.4440 and ask to speak to Dr. Cooney.

  2. body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}

      do you accept medicare and blue cross/blue shield if not what are the cost involved

    • Good Morning Constance,

      Please give us a call at our office and we’ll be happy to talk about your medical history and previous treatment efforts. We will also be happy to talk about our fees for services. You can reach us at 201.933.444zero. Looking forward to talking with you.

  3. Great story, I went through this with my wife as she suffered through pain and the oxy addiction. She was so distraught she ended up getting arrested over a police traffic stop on I-95 North in PA since she was in so much pain. I will never forget seeing her handcuffed to the hospital bed. I will definitely convince her to see Dr Cooney

  4. Wow, what a wonderful story. Amy’s family should be proud of her. She seems like a terrific person. Her husband is an angel to leave work and take care of her.

  5. I saw what this RSD did to my friends wife. She did anything for pain meds, she lied, stole, broke into her parents house, stopped talking to her sister.Verbally abused her parents, it was terrible. My friends did not work for years, living off of disability, in and out of the hospital in New Yorjk.
    Amy is an inspiration to others with this illness. I will let my friend know about this article. There is hope!

  6. My wife suffered from this, it destroyed our marriage, she stole OxyContin from my pharmacy that I owned. I tried to get her help at the hospital and she would constantly leave her room to smoke a cigarette.
    I took her to Hopkins, mayo clinic , cedar Sinai , no one could help.
    She finally realized she needed help
    Great story !

  7. My wife has been suffering from this for the past year. My heart aches as I see the pain she goes through , she is on disability , we had to build a ramp to the front door of our home.
    Amy’s story gives us hope. Does anyone know how to reach out to her ? I would love to get her advice and story as my good friend is a book editor and it would make a great self help book!!
    God bless you Amy !!!

    • Dear Oscar,

      Thank you for your kind comments about Amy and we are sorry to hear of your wife’s RSD battle. Certainly, Amy’s story has inspired many not to give up and to keep trying alternative treatments until they find the one that lessens the daily neuropathy. If you would like to forward an communication to Amy, we would be happy to forward a message to her. You can email us privately at calmarenj@ gmail. com. Wishing you all the best. Calmare Therapy NJ

  8. Dr B from Hopkins

    She is an inspiration to all of us suffering from RSD!!! Love her story and her spirit. What a role model to look up to. Keep fighting Amy and soon enough you will be back at work as a Pharma Tech.

  9. What a wonderful story on such a beautiful person. Amy sounds like a wonderful devoted wife. What a debilitating disease this poor woman went through. I am so glad that she found a cure or treatment for this horrible ordeal. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering she went as she searched throughout MD for doctors

  10. Reblogged this on A CRPS angels world and commented:
    I think I have found some hope<3
    CRPS/RSD fighters-please read!!

  11. Hey! Thank you so much for sharing this info!

    I actually live in MD & I’ve seen doctors at Johns Hopkins & I receive ketamine infusions at GW hospital. I’ve have had CRPS FOR 17 months and it’s in all four limbs. They have also found bone marrow edema in my right foot (the original foot that developed CRPS)
    They also recently, found arthritis in my lower back.
    I am going to be 26 in November, I haven’t been able to work since March 2012… And I won’t have health insurance once I turn 26.

    I’ve had my heart set on HBOT for months bc my doctors told me that there isn’t really any thing else they could do.
    After reading about the Calmare treatment.. I have hope again.

    Is there any way I can get more info on costs, how long a patient has to wait before they are seen,etc?
    I need some relief… I can’t continue to deal with this pain every day.
    My email is
    And my personal blog,which has my personal stories and photos regarding CRPS. That’s at

    I really hope to hear from you!
    Thank you!
    Heather Lynn

  12. I was dignosed with rsd 2+ yrs ago i havent worked in 2 yrs now i cant and i cant get any help from disabilty im to young and none of the meds work i cant find a dr in my area that knows about rsd well enough to treat it any advice or help would be great im only 35 yrs old and i want my life back

    • Dear Tara,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and we are sorry to hear about your battle with RSD. We received your personal contact information and have forwarded it to Dr. Michael Cooney. He will be contacting you. Thank you and kindest regards.

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