Author Archives: calmarenj

College Athlete Liz Shares an Update After Calmare Therapy in 2014 for CRPS

LizLiz treated here with us in November of 2014. She was battling increasingly severe CRPS symptoms and it was keeping her from sports (she’s a superstar basketball player) and just enjoying college.

She was diagnosed with CRPS after a nasty basketball injury to her right leg. Using crutches when she arrived here in NJ from Missouri, she was dealing with  a consistent pain level of 8 / 10.

When traditional pain medications and therapeutic treatments don’t lessen your CRPS pain or physical symptoms

Just 18-years-old, Liz had already been to a number of hospitals and physician specialists who prescribed several different medications and physical therapy. Unfortunately, none of these efforts reduced her pain.

She’s one of those people whose engaging personality just fills up any room she enters. For her to be suffering from CRPS was heartbreaking.

She and her family were savvy about her treatment plan--her diagnosis was relatively new and she aggressively sought a drug-free therapy before the condition worsened. When traditional medications and therapies were not successful, the family decided to try an alternative treatment.

Pain relief begins by scrambling the pain message from the brain

Once we started Liz’s treatment, her pain relief started after the first Calmare MC-5A treatment. By the end of the 10-treatment cycle, she was pain-free.

We checked in with her via Twitter this morning (where you go to reach anyone under 25, we have learned) and she immediately responded:

@CalmareNJ Tell everyone there hello! I’m doing great! Back at school and working- all thanks to you guys!

Might Calmare scrambler therapy be right for your chronic pain condition?

Fill in the information below and we’ll be happy to reach out to you:

Calmare Booster Treatments Help Gabriel Keep His Pediatric RSD Under Control

Gabriel_6.2015By Dr. Michael J. Cooney, Clinical Director, Calmare Therapy New Jersey

A child from here in New Jersey who battles RSD, Gabriel, first came to us as a 9-year-old in December 2013 with severe RSD in his legs. Unlike most of our patients, he did not have a specific injury or surgery that initiated his pediatric chronic pain condition.

Prior to coming to Calmare NJ, he was treated by a rheumatologist, an orthopedist and his pediatrician. His full body CAT scan and MRI were both negative.

His doctors were unsure how to treat his pain. Prior to his mother discovering Calmare in a magazine article, Gabe underwent three painful nerve blocks and was prescribed a number of painkilling drugs, including Gabapentin.

Youngster cannot attend elementary school due to RSD/ CRPS symptoms

Eventually, Gabe was unable to attend school, play soccer or do karate. Even at such a young age, his RSD symptoms mirrored an adult case:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Allodynia (sensitivity to touch)
  • Chronic pain of varying levels of severity
  • Loss of mobility
  • Reliance on crutches to walk

Gabriel_age11_12.2013In 2013, Gabe arrived here and would be the youngest patient we had ever treated using scrambler therapy.

I had a good feeling that we could help Gabe after the first treatment. In fact, after just six sessions, Gabe was pain-free and put his crutches away in the trunk of his car and headed back home to share the great news—and resume the normal life of a young boy.

2014: Three booster treatments sends his pain back into remission

While some fortunate people never experience any significant recurrence of pain after scrambler therapy, some patients experience a recurrence months or even years later, particularly if their case was severe or they suffered with the condition for a long period of time.

In Gabriel’s case, he pain returned about 10 months later. His mother wisely brought him in for treatment. In May, he had two consecutive boosters (1 per day over two consecutive days) and in September he had one more session.

2015: One booster treatment sends his pain back into remission

Nine months later, Gabe was having some pain and wanted to begin using his crutches again. His wonderful Mom brought him in and this time, he only needed a single booster treatment to eliminate the pain.

One note, after his initial treatment cycle in 2013, his RSD skin conditions never returned.

Why I love my job

After just one treatment lasting about 35 minutes, this bright and funny 11-year-old boy confidently walked out of our office (without crutches) ready to face the summer of 2015.  Pain-free.

Would you like to talk with someone from our team about your RSD / CRPS or other chronic pain condition? Email us at CalmareNJ@gmail.com or call us at (201) 933-4440.

John finally finds pain relief from his PHN (Shingles) with Calmare scrambler therapy

John Willis_5.2015John Willis came to Calmare Therapy New Jersey on May 4, 2015 for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) as a result of Shingles. He had been suffering for nine long months with a consistent pain level of 8/10.

Eventually, his pain decreased his quality of life—he could not longer drive or do many of the things he enjoyed.

His physician prescribed a number of prescription medications to help manage his pain but they were ineffective.

John tries an alternative treatment for PHN painShingles image

Mr. Willis was not content to live the rest of his life in this degree of pain. Once it was clear the medications were not going to help, he considered other alternative pain treatments. Through his research, he discovered Dr. Michael Cooney and his success using scrambler therapy.

He consulted with Dr. Cooney and they mutually agreed he was a suitable candidate to undergo the scrambler, which is painless and has no side effects.

John completed the 10-treatment regime and reduced his pain from an 8/10 to a steady 3/10. The good news is he is maintaining this more manageable pain level without using any medications which made him drowsy and just not feeling “like himself.”

Best of all, he can function again and resume his daily routine, including driving his car.

As always, our goal here at Calmare Therapy NJ is to achieve a 0/10 pain level with every patient. But, sometimes, that goal cannot be achieved. However, in John’s case, since his scrambler therapy treatment, his pain rate varies between 1 but does not go above a 3.

To Mr. Willis, this is a great success.

READ ABOUT JOAN’S SUCCESS TREATING HER SEVERE PHN USING SCRAMBLER THERAPY

PHN Clinical Trial Results Using Calmare Scrambler Therapy

But don’t just take our word for this success. Here’s what researchers have found in clinical trials:

Dr. Thomas Smith, director of Palliative Care at the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, performed a study for PHN patients where they achieved an amazing 95% reduction in pain a month after the treatment with no side effects.

Journal of pain and symptom managementAnother study recently published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management with 52 random pain participants compared guideline-based drug management with the scrambler. The Calmare participants had a 91 percent reduction in pain compared to a 28 percent reduction in pain for those who used drug management.

ACOS• The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) completed a clinical trial on the benefits of scrambler therapy:

“Scrambler therapy appears to have a promising effect on post herpetic neuropathy (PHN) with prompt and continued relief and no side effects.”

Are you or someone you care about living with severe pain from PHN?

Feel free to leave your information below and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information. We can also discuss your medical history and mutually determine if scrambler therapy might be right for you. 

Welcome back Calmare NJ team member Cathy!

cathyShe’s Back!!

We are more than delighted to announce that our beloved Cathy is back in the office today after her hip replacement surgery in March.

No, it hasn’t been the same without you, dear Cathy, and we are overjoyed that life is back to normal now that you are at the front desk once again.

We missed you more than you know.

XOXO

Diabetic Nerve Pain (DPN) Treatments Expand to Drug-free Alternative Therapies

diabetic neuropathyAn astounding 26 million Americans are living with diabetes and about one in five experience diabetic nerve pain.

This severe chronic pain condition, called diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), has been reported by patients at a rate that is actually double the estimate from healthcare providers across the country, according to a new survey conducted by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).

Despite its prevalence, the survey of 500 physicians and nurses, and over one thousand people with DPN found major misconceptions and a significant lack of patient awareness about the disease. When they do diagnose the condition, doctors often resort to writing a prescription for a painkillers, which can be prohibitively expensive, come with dangerous side effects, or become ineffective over time.

Pain Symptoms of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN):
diabetes

  • Numbness
  • Stabbing pain in the hands or feet
  • Tingling or burning
  • Extreme sensitivity to pain and temperature
  • Shooting pain
  • Loss of balance

Most troubling is the fact many sufferers don’t know to ask about drug-free ways to treat this pain with their healthcare providers. Sadly, 77% of patients says DPN interferes with their ability to complete and enjoy normal day-to-day activities.

What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy?

The cause of this pain is the result of uncontrolled sugar levels that, over time, damages the nerves, most commonly affecting the toes, feet and hands.

Successful treatment for diabetic nerve pain can be challenging and the condition is often drug-resistant as well.

Calmare Scrambler Therapy Can Overcome Nerve Pain

That’s where Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment can help. This drug-free, pain-free therapy is available at Rutherford Allied Medical Group in northern New Jersey, the one and only pain treatment facility that has advanced expertise in helping NJ patients with diabetes-related pain.

Living with diabetes is challenging enough—you should not have to live with debilitating pain or side effects from prescription painkillers just to get through the day.

Dr. Michael Cooney is the clinical director of Calmare Therapy NJ and would be happy to talk with you about your medical history in more detail.

If you would like to learn more, complete the form below and we’ll be happy to answer any questions via email or call you with this information.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of FreeDigital Photos.net “David Castillo Dominici”

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and United Healthcare Continue to Add Calmare Coverage

medical insurance cardMay 5, 2015

We continue to share medical insurance coverage information with you as we receive reliable information from our scrambler therapy colleagues across the country.

It is important to note that every insurance policy is unique and that coverage will vary according to the employer’s criteria.

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I HAVE MEDICAL COVERAGE FOR CALMARE SCRAMBLER THERAPY?

Call the Member phone number located on the back of your card and speak specifically with a live person about your plan’s “Coverage.”

Tell them the CPT code you are calling about is 0278T.

The representative should tell you if it is a covered service and how you can obtain pre-certification. Here at Calmare Therapy NJ, our administrative team will be happy to provide you with any documentation your insurer may require.

Contact your insurance company before you proceed with treatment, if possible.

ANTHEM BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD

As of May 2015, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a federation of 37 separate United States health insurance organizations and companies, has provided some degree of coverage for the treatment of several chronic pain conditions using Calmare scrambler therapy.

We have confirmed reports of coverage by these specific Anthem BCBS companies:

BCBS of Indiana

BCBS of Kentucky

BCBS of Missouri

BCBS of Ohio

BCBS of Wisconsin

BCBS of Minnesota

BCBS of North Carolina

United Healthcare

We have several confirmed patient reports of coverage approval based upon the specific use of CPT Code 0278T.

Make no mistake, we’re not there yet. At the same time, we’re happy to begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel where some medical insurers are recognizing the cost benefit and effectiveness of Calmare’s scrambler therapy in comparison to:

  •  Exorbitantly expensive medications
  •  Invasive in-patient chronic pain treatments such as Ketamine therapy and spinal cord stimulators (SCS).

Meanwhile, we will keep fighting, getting the word out and getting patients to stand up to insurance companies and demand attend. This is a fight we are not going to surrender any time soon, rest assured.

Fibromyalgia and Long-term Drug Use – There are Alternatives

April 30, 2015

By Michael J. Cooney, D.C.

While many patients use chiropractors and other alternative approaches to treat fibromyalgia pain, most continue to use analgesics (pain medications) provided by their primary care or pain management medical doctor.

These drugs help with varying degrees of success, but all will have unintended side effects, especially when taken over many years. Some patients, exhausted and debilitated by the ongoing use of prescription drugs, are frustrated and ready to escape this pain-pill-pain-pill cycle.

Finally, medical doctors and researchers are responding to the demands of the public and have focused their efforts and trying to get patients to decrease their use of medications. But in order to do so, patients living with chronic pain need viable alternatives.

Mayo Clinic finds less pain medication = higher quality of life

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic studied 159 patients for three weeks in an outpatient program where they slowly withdrew their medications. (Fibromyalgia patients were taking opioid analgesics,mayo clinic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants).

The results of this analgesic-withdrawal program were dramatic. Patients had significant reduction in their medication use, and at the same time, their physical and emotional well-being significantly improved.

Instead of prescription medication that doesn’t work…

Calmare scrambler therapy and chiropractic care does not involve the prescription of pain medication. Our care begins with a comprehensive examination including tests of spinal mobility and function, including a detailed history to make sure your diagnosis is correct and that we have a solid baseline to compare how your pain improves (decreases) over time.

calmare-patient-laura-miller-in-central-park-2011The care approach for the fibromyalgia patient can incorporate specific adjustments to counter spinal distortions (poor posture), and limited mobility. Patients at Calmare Therapy NJ combating fibromyalgia have also had significantly lower pain levels to the degree that they were able to resume normal daily function again (school, work, normal day-to-day activities).

Fighting pain requires a whole-life, whole-body holistic approach

At the same time, Calmare Therapy NJ aggressively promotes a healthy lifestyle  consisting of regular exercise, stretching, quality sleep, religious or spiritual outlets and a nutritious and balanced diet.

This comprehensive natural approach is markedly different from traditional Western medical treatments and has proven to be highly successful in a surprisingly short period of time.

Drugs are not the long-term medical solution to pain, particularly treating fibromyalgia.

Nine Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia (Added May 12, 1015)

If you are a fibromyalgia sufferer and would like to learn more, please fill out this information below:

 

Thank You to Burning Nights for Their Calmare Scrambler Therapy Q&A

Burning NightsDuring the course of treating so many people with chronic pain, you meet many wonderful warriors who are battling disease with all their might.

A young woman from the UK is an outstanding inspiration in everything we do to combat the devastating effects of CRPS.

A warm thank you to Victoria and her Burning Nights‬ group for inviting me to be interviewed on their valuable CRPS website Q&A. This warrior has overcome seemingly insurmountable health crises to create and spearhead a website for #CRPS sufferers from around the globe.

We’ve chatted via email over the past year and she kindly offered to generate questions about our Calmare scrambler therapy from her thousands of readers worldwide.

I was very impressed by the intelligent and insightful questions from readers and hope I helped by offering quality information in return.

Victoria carefully edited this piece and has been very response to comments thus far.

I am personally honored to be affiliated and featured in this incredible helpful and useful resource to the CRPS community.

Thank you, Victoria, for your candor and willingness to feature a newer treatment option in the war on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

It’s been a pleasure from start to finish.

Dr. Cooney’s Q&A on Burning Nights

Multi-pronged, drug-free approach to fibromyalgia pain gains momentum

By Dr. Michael J. Cooney

As you know, I’m not a proponent of prescription pain medication unless it is deemed absolutely necessary by a physician with advanced expertise treating a particular neuropathic condition.

woman in pain

Fibromyalgia sufferers can certainly relate. Many of the patients we treat here at Calmare Therapy New Jersey are opposed to using medication for several reasons–the debilitating side effects, the out-of-pocket costs and the end result, which is often disappointing.

USING NATURAL PAIN TREATMENTS THAT DON’T REQUIRE A PRESCRIPTION

Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FMS) often choose to proactively seek out different complementary and alternative treatments. Since medications and surgery are rarely indicated, the use of safer (less toxic) alternatives has become widespread. About 50 percent of FMS patients report using these alternative treatments to help combat pain:

  • Exercise programs
  • Prayer, meditation and music therapy
  • Support Groups (live or via the Internet)
  • Chiropractic services and alternative treatments
  • Vitamin supplements

 VITAMIN C

Antioxidants are part of the repair mechanism for cell healing. Vitamin C is Vitamin Cimportant for tissue repair and its concentrations are lowered in patients who have suffered a trauma.

Long used by athletes to speed wound healing and recovery after work-outs, vitamin C has now caught the attention of medical researchers, who are examining how this vitamin works and whether it is effective as a supplement for patients with fibromyalgia.

Often, FMS patients take individual nutrients for specific symptoms which were recommended by a doctor. Other times the nutrient is part of a larger holistic regimen that also includes diet, weight management, vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

The Myers Cocktail method of IV infused Vitamin C and other key minerals (including magnesium) is catching on and a big story in the news lately. While I don’t personally endorse this treatment, I am mentioning in here because several of my patients who have undergone this therapy reported an improvement in FMS symptoms.

There is a large and fruitful healthcare community which is helping patients with acute and chronic pain with nary a drug in sight. From our beloved scrambler therapy to the use of vitamins and minerals, treatments with fewer side effects can offer relief from symptoms and pain.

But our medical community in this country still reaches for the prescription pad first. It is our duty, as holistic caregivers, to make sure patients are educated about other treatment modalities.

(Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The importance of dental care for fibromyalgia, CRPS / RSD warriors

DentistFibromyalgia (FMS) pain often occurs in the face, head, and neck areas, which can make dental visits something to avoid, understandably. But because serious dental issues are common in people with fibromyalgia, regular trips to the dentist are necessary to catch problems before they become more serious.

No one is looking to add to your pain, that’s for certain. But maintaining your dental hygiene now can save more pain down the line.

More than 75 percent of the CRPS / RSD patients we have treated also suffer from chronic dental issues. People with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) require the highest levels of specialized dental care due to the highly sensitive nature of their conditions.

I sought out the advice of a local dentist who specializes in treating patients with chronic pain conditions and asked him for advice to share with our Calmare readers:

BUT WHY DO I NEED TO GO TO THE DENTIST? I AM ALREADY IN PAIN

Regular dental visits are the same as the need for a general overall check-up with your primary care doctor every year—if you don’t do it, any potential issues will have ample time to grow and become more serious−and more complicated to treat−after the issue is finally diagnosed.

Do the due diligence in locating a dentist who treats patients with fibromyalgia / CRPS / RSD and understands your special issues. Once you’ve found one, ask about specific tools to help minimize and control pain, dental or otherwise, before, during and after treatment.

One of the unfortunate byproducts of chronic pain management is the common use of medications. These medications often contribute to ‘dry mouth’ and without adequate saliva, tooth decay and gum disease are more likely to flourish.

This dry mouth condition is called xerostomia and it has major dental consequences such as:

  • Interference with normal swallowing patterns
  • Taste alterations (dysgeusia)
  • Interference with speech
  • Inability to maintain oral tissue integrity
  • Mucositis (chronic mouth irritation and inflammation)
  • Dental decay
  • Erosion

To combat this condition, keep hydrated by sipping water throughout the day, chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy. You may also wish to use a moisturizing mouth spray, which your dentist can provide.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Over time, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that often become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.

If not treated, the bones, gums and tissue that supports the teeth are destroyed, requiring the diseased teeth to be extracted.

EXTRACTIONS

Understandably, people with chronic pain avoid potential pain triggers, including dental visits. So when tooth or gum pain or sensitivity presents, it is often in the latter stages of decay when the tooth cannot be salvaged. The unfortunate result is the need to remove the tooth.

THE BEST DEFENSE IS A STRONG OFFENSE

In the comfort of your home, brush teeth a minimum of twice daily and floss. (Yes, we know it’s gross, but isn’t it better to get that stuff out of your mouth and into the garbage?) Give your tongue a good brushing as well to remove bacteria that leads to plaque and chronic bad breath.

Twice-yearly tooth cleanings and exams are necessary to prevent and offset any issues before they become more serious and requiring more invasive treatment. Talk with your treating physician before your visit to determine any special protocol or medication requirements needed. Be sure that your doctor and dentist are in touch to fully understand the nature of your care needs.

After your cleaning or dental treatment, allow extra time to rest and recover. Eat soft food for a few days and avoid foods (meats, popcorn, hard candy) that can potentially become lodged in those clean and disease-free pearly whites!

Prevention of dental disease may very well pay off in good overall health, allowing your immune system to perform at its optimal level. While, admittedly, it’s not pleasant, it is nonetheless well worth the effort in the long run.

Dr. Michael Cooney is one of 10 certified providers of Calmare scrambler therapy in the U.S. He specializes in treating patients battling severe neuropathy as a result of fibromyalgia, CRPS / RSD, diabetes, shingles, post-surgical pain and pain after chemotherapy. To learn more, call 201-933-4440.

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net)