Author Archives: Michael J. Cooney

Our first patient with CRPS due to glossopharyngeal neuralgia syndrome yields outstanding results with scrambler therapy

Mirelle_VA_Image 2_betterApril 2, 2014

Mireille, an attorney from Alexandria, VA, came to Calmare Therapy NJ supported by her husband on March 11 for CRPS treatment.

Her neuropathic condition began in April 2012 after a sore throat turned into glossopharyngeal neuralgia (a condition in which there are repeated episodes of severe shock-like pain in the tongue, throat, ear, tonsils and head which can last from a few seconds to a few minutes). Eventually diagnosed with CRPS, the disease began to overtake her upper body including her back, arm, hand, shoulder and neck.

Mireille learned about Calmare scrambler therapy after conducting research on the Internet for new, non-invasive treatments for Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. Because Dr. Cooney was Calmare Certified, she spoke with him by phone and they mutually agreed that she was a suitable candidate to undergo treatment.

A myriad of drug and treatment efforts

When she arrived, Mireille was living with a pain level of 9 /10 in her upper back and the left side of her neck. She also presented with physical symptoms including allodynia in the neck and shoulder, discoloration in the hand, occasional swelling in the arm and ongoing temperature fluctuations in her arm. Her EMG and MRI results were negative, which is common with CRPS patients.

Mireille and her doctors had aggressively sought a variety of medications and treatments to neutralize her pain including:

  • Prescription pain medications
  • P-stim neurostimulator
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Ketamine
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Injections
  • Acupuncture

Calmare for patients with spinal cord stimulators ( SCS )

So long as the SCS is turned off throughout the 10-treatment Calmare regimen, the patient can safely undergo therapy. Day-by-day, as Mireille underwent the 45-minute treatments, her physical symptoms began to lessen and her pain level fell. As treatment progressed, the length of time she felt no pain continued to grow between each daily treatment.

Finally, after two additional treatments, Mireille headed back to Virginia with 0 pain for the first time in long two years. She was also thrilled to be able to sleep through the night again ─ even in a hotel bed! (We are often told that a good night’s sleep is one of the most cherished quality-of-life issues for people living with chronic pain).

Best of all, Mireille, who had taken a professional leave of absence as a law clerk with the Federal Government last December due to her debilitating pain, is eagerly preparing to get back to work after resting at hone for a week.

Our patient with shingles-related PHN responds well to single Calmare booster treatments

Shingles imageNew York resident Joan K., our first shingles patient, completed the Calmare treatment program in June 2012 after she had exhausted a battery of other pain therapy efforts trying to end her severe chronic pain.

Shingles, a viral infection of the nerve roots, can be contracted by any person who had the chickenpox virus. Approximately 500,000 cases of shingles occur every year in the U.S. Most people recover from their bout, but for about 30 percent, the pain doesn’t go away. It can last for months, years, or even the rest of their lives.

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)

These patients have what is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), when the shingles virus damages the nerves of the skin. In these more severe cases, even the slightest touch — from clothing or even a breeze — can be excruciatingly painful.

Mrs. K describes her PHN pain as “severe stabbing pain”.  She also experienced some nagging soreness along her rib cage. We were all delighted when her scrambler therapy efforts yielded a successful outcome back in 2012 and her pain was not just lessened, it was actually eliminated (0 / 10).

Three months after completing her treatment series, she experienced a slight return of the pain and came in for a single booster treatment lasting about 40-minutes; In December 2012, she came in for a second booster. In both instances, she received one treatment and the stabbing pain was gone again.

Joan’s pain does not return for more than a year after two boosters

She did not require any boosters during 2013 and last week, 15-months after her first Calmare treatment series, she came in for one treatment that again eliminated her pain.

While PHN is not a common condition, we have seen consistently positive patient outcomes using the scrambler. I am more than encouraged by the results I am seeing. If you or someone you know is living with severe shingles pain, I would be happy to talk or meet with you to discuss your medical history and determine if Calmare might help to end your PHN pain as well.

Joy’s Calmare Therapy for RSD reinvigorates her health ─ and her checkbook

Joy Morris_3.2014You may recall Joy Morris was here with us last summer for the 10-treatment series of Calmare Therapy  to combat reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) located in her left knee down through her foot. When she arrived, her pain level was 10/10.

Since her successful therapy, (she left New Jersey at a 0 / 10 pain level), her chronic pain from RSD diminished to the point that she no longer needed any of the 10 pain medications she was prescribed. But the good news didn’t end there.

Once Joy was free from all the pain pills, her overall health and well-being improved dramatically:

  • She began to have more energy and lost a significant amount of weight.
  • In turn, she soon no longer needed high blood pressure medication.
  • Joy no longer needs medication for elevated liver enzymes which returned to a normal range as a result of post-Calmare weight-loss and the elimination of pain drugs.

The benefits of life without pain medications

“In less than a year, I lost 55 pounds and three dress sizes!” the West Virginian mother and grandmother says. “You’d be surprised how alive and active you can be when you aren’t living every day in the pain medication haze.”

Since Calmare, Joy says she has saved nearly $7,000 in doctor visits and prescription drug costs. “This has been a very good thing because I was able to use the savings to buy a new wardrobe!”

“Last week, before Joy’s two Calmare booster treatments, her pain level had intermittently increased as high as a 7 but hovered around a 3. After two boosters lasting 40-minutes each, she left at a 0 pain level again,” Dr. Cooney reports.

“Joy is a vivacious, happy person who deserves to live a pain-free life. Her RSD was one of the more severe cases I have treated; I am very pleased that she was able to sustain a 10-month span before she needed any follow-up treatments.”

 

 

 

Join me March 25 at the CRPS/RSD Support Group of South Jersey

support group

I am honored to be a guest speaker discussing my experience using Calmare scrambler therapy to combat  Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

 
CRPS/RSD & Chronic Pain Support Group of South Jersey
Date:  Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location:
YMCA of Mount Laurel
The Child Care Center
59 Centerton Road
Mt. Laurel,  New Jersey 08054
How to Enter: The YMCA Child Care Center is located at the far left rear of The YMCA Building, parking and entrance to The Child Care Center is at that location.  
  
Contact:
Lisa Anne Vasey is the chairperson of the support group, which meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the YMCA in Mt. Laurel, NJ. For more information, contact her at lisav1@live.com .
 
Lisa noted that the event is open to anyone living with RSD/CRPS, or another chronic pain condition, as well as friends and family members.

Yes, I am a chiropractor, also

February 7, 2014

RAM logo

 

 

This week I’ve had two different patients tell me they didn’t know I was a chiropractor; rather, they assumed I administered Calmare scrambler therapy exclusively.

I have actually been a practicing chiropractic physician in Bergen County for more than 30 years at Rutherford Allied Medical Group here in Rutherford. Some years ago, I was frustrated that we had some patients for whom traditional chiropractic services, and even alternative therapies such as acupuncture, did not lessen or alleviate their acute or chronic pain.

Dr. Robert Kelly, our staff physician, and I agreed we would not resort to him prescribing painkillers, in most cases. Thus, our search for another solution let us, finally, to Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment.

Every day, we see patients who live down the street or across the country (as far away as Europe and Australia) in need of pain management to rid them of acute and the most severe chronic pain.

Everyone on our team truly loves being here (and we’ll tell you when you’re here, believe me) because we have an opportunity to use our skills and today’s technology to help people in pain.

I truly have the best job in the world. Good weekend all!

 

My latest article on Spine Universe about Calmare scrambler therapy helping a pharma tech with severe RSD

spine-universe logoBy Dr. Michael J. Cooney

For those of you who know me, you’re fully aware that I don’t tend to support using debilitating and expensive painkillers to treat pain.

Imagine the irony when  a patient from Maryland came to see me, suffering with severe RSD, who  worked for a pharmaceutical company.

I’ve written about her treatment story  in my new column for SpineUniverse.com, a terrific resource for anyone with head pain and migraines, neck pain and back pain. I highly recommend their site for accurate and up-to-the-minute research findings.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Boy with RND looks forward to his first pain-free Christmas in three years

Gabriel_age11_12.2013(Update: 1/2014: Gabriel’s mother called us this morning to say her family is elated that their son continues to be pain-free and he is finally returning to public school today, without crutches…)

Part of being a child is taking your share of hits, scrapes, bumps and bruises. But some children who sustain these routine injuries are faced with the unexpected onset of chronic pain that can take away the simple joy of childhood. This chronic condition, reflex neurovascular dystrophy (RND), is in the same disease family as RSD / CRPS and fibromyalgia.

The root of all of these diseases stems from damaged nerves (most commonly as the result of an injury or surgery) which amplifies the pain signal to the brain. The resulting pain can be excruciating and especially heartbreaking when this pain is suffered by a child.  RND is more common than you might think.

Last year, we profiled a high school student, Katie, a smart and athletic teenager with RND.  She responded beautifully to scrambler therapy and while we miss her, she left our office pain-free and has never needed to return for booster treatments (read about her post-treatment update letter here:  http://calmaretherapynj.com/2013/02/14/mother-of-teen-with-fibromyalgia-shares-calmare-experience/).

Gabriel’s young life is put on hold by pain

Two weeks ago, 11-year-old Gabriel from New Jersey came in with RND in his right leg after sustaining a soccer injury in 2010. He described his pain as a 9/10 upon arrival. Over the past few years, he underwent the standard course of treatments for neuropathy with a battery of doctors including his pediatrician, orthopedist, rheumatologist and pain management specialists. He took painkilling-medication and endured unpleasant injections to treat severe pain.

Due to his extreme ongoing pain and skin sensitivity, Gabriel had to drop out of soccer and karate and be home-schooled. He suffered from chronic fatigue and weight gain, as a result of the painkilling medications.

I began treating him with daily Calmare Therapy treatments of about an hour a day; starting with the second treatment, and Gabriel’s pain began to diminish and I saw a smile for the first time.

An optimal outcome with a treatment that has no pain or side effects

After completing the standard two-week treatment protocol, Gabriel was pain-free for the first time in three years.  He has begun to sleep through the night again. By the eighth treatment, he was able to put his favorite sneakers on for the first time in months.

Just in time for Christmas, this terrific young man’s Calmare treatment is complete.  He and his elated family are moving forward with their lives, starting with celebrating the holidays in a big way this year.

Thank you to Gabriel and his parents for having the faith and fortitude to keep looking for a drug-free and non-invasive  treatment to overcome chronic RND pain. You positive outcome has been an early Christmas present for me, indeed.

Now is the time to de-stress and lighten the pain load

It’s a week before Christmas and, hopefully, you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel—your home has a decoration or two;  you’ve ordered some gifts and there might even be a favorite sweet treat or two in the kitchen.  If you are living with chronic pain, you may very well be exhausted and in more pain before the holidays even get here.

Now is the time to take a breather in order to lower your pain levels. Here are some good ways to distress so you are in a positive frame of mind to enjoy the celebration.

Accept Limitations

Living with a chronic pain condition, you may not be able to do everything you had planned during the holiday season. Sometimes, traditions need to change. Don’t beat yourself up. If you couldn’t chop down the tree or prepare a big holiday meal this year, everyone will survive. Instead, enlist the support of other family members and teach them how to carry on your proud family traditions.

Get Some Exercise

“But won’t exercising worsen my pain?” In most cases, when you get your body moving and your heart pumping, your brain releases endorphins, which puts you in a better mood and relieves stress. Moving your body also helps to let go of the day’s worries, allows your busy mind to wander and stretches muscles to keep them from tightening up. Exercise can also help you sleep significantly better at night. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise regime, just to be sure.

Unwind Your Way

Pencil in plenty of “you” time every single day. You need it and so does your body. Relax and enjoy whatever calms you down and rests your body and mind. Whether it’s a morning stroll for a coffee, getting a massage or enjoying reading a children’s book to a favorite youngster, take the time to unwind and truly enjoy the joy of the holiday season.

Photo Credit: http://parentingpink.com/?p=15693

Pace yourself during the holiday rollercoaster

roller coaster

I have already seen several of my chronic pain patients with elevated pain levels this week after the start of the annual ‘holiday rollercoaster’.

Please pace yourselves. Your health comes FIRST and foremost so that you have the strength to enjoy the ride.

Please get your rest and don’t overdue.

I worry :) 

Exercise can help lessen pain in chronic pain patients

spine-universe logoI’m thoroughly enjoying my blogging experience on SpineUniverse.com.   I’ve interacted with some interesting colleagues and offered advice to several readers.  Now that we are all online, the world seems much more compact!

I’d like to repost a recent article I wrote earlier this week about the value of exercising, even for patients in pain. Several of my Calmare scrambler therapy patients used walking (starting slow and building distance and speed) as the first exercise they undertook once their pain was under control.

Just be sure to consult with  your treating doctor about how much and what exercise is right for you, depending on your medical condition.

Now. Water aerobics anyone? 

From a doctor’s perspective, treating chronic pain is one of the most difficult professional challenges. Every patient is completely unique and so is their body and mind’s reaction to pain.  As a chiropractor who does not support invasive therapies or drugs, it’s my job to help patients discover additional ways to minimize pain that works uniquely for them.

Depending on the severity of your medical condition, this can range from the warm embrace of a beloved pet, wrapping the affected area with a warm towel, sipping a soothing cup of tea or ─or working up a sweat!

Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercise can most certainly be an excellent option to lessen pain.

How?

  • Your body releases endorphins when you exercise, which puts you in a better mood, combats depression and even helps block pain receptors.
  • Exercise also makes your body stronger, which can take some of the stress off areas causing you pain. For example, strengthening your core (belly muscles) can help reduce back pain because your back doesn’t need to work so hard to support your body.

You may be surprised at the positive response your body gives you after even a light workout. First and foremost, however, be sure to discuss starting an exercise routine with your treating doctor first. Once you’ve received the green light to go ahead, consider two of my favorite exercise options:

Yoga

Yoga is low-impact and incorporates stretching, strengthening, and meditation. Remember, you don’t need to be able to contort yourself into a pretzel to enjoy the benefits of yoga and, in fact, you are encouraged to go at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Most gyms and yoga studios offer classes for beginners, so you’re sure to find the class that suits you.

Swimming and Water Aerobics

If yoga isn’t for you, get in the water and consider a water aerobics program. According to the National Council on Exercise, your body weighs 90% less underwater. This takes a lot of stress off of your joints and muscles, allowing you to move more easily. Proper hydration is key with water aerobics because you won’t realize if you’re actually sweating.

You may be reluctant to get out and start exercising at first, but with the permission of your doctor, gently give it a try. Often, my patients will tell me they were skeptical about the benefits of exercising until they tried it.

And even though you’re excited to get started, take it slow at first so your body can adjust to the new level of activity. Starting a safe exercise program empowers patients in pain to be active and fight back against pain on their own terms.

Let me know if you find an exercise that works for you and I’ll be happy to share it.