Category Archives: Cancer pain relief

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.

 

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 :) 

Call in to chat with Dr. Cooney on Friday, November 1

rsdnad youDr. Michael J. Cooney will be a guest on Joseph Aquilino’s“RSD and You”  BlogTalk Radio program airing Friday, November 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Joseph is a longtime RSD sufferer who has become a national leader in spreading awareness about this ‘silent’  and debilitating disease affecting children, adults and seniors.

Our patients from around the country are invited to call in (310-982-4253)  and share their experiences as well as individuals, their families or friends who are currently living with CRPS / RSD  /RND who may have questions about scrambler therapy as a treatment for these diseases.

Addendum 11/2/13:  I’d like to add a personal note of thanks to our patients who generously took the time to call-in to the program and share their experiences. You can listen to the program in its entirety by clicking here: 

How to know when you need a pain management specialist

By Dr. Michael J. Cooney

back_painChronic pain can sneak up on you.  You’re diagnosed with a disease / condition that causes constant pain and before you know it, months or even years have passed and you are still living in pain and relying on your original treating doctor for pain therapy treatment.

One of the complaints we hear most often from our patients is the fact that they waited “too long” before consulting with a doctor who specializes exclusively in treating neuropathy. Don’t get me wrong – this is certainly not a dig at physicians or doctors in general. Rather, it is a discussion about when the time comes to find a doctor who specializes in your condition and offers a wide spectrum of expertise and resources to help you.

Might you be in this situation?  Here are some guidelines to know when the time is right to find a pain management specialist:

Your pain just won’t go away.

If you have pain that is not significantly minimized after three months.

Family and internal medicine doctors specialize in many areas of healthcare. Pain management practitioners specialize exclusively in resolving acute, chronic and severe pain. Pain specialists are trained to evaluate complex pain problems and have a wide variety of treatment options you may not know about.

You want to stop taking prescription painkillers and utilize alternative treatments which are drug-free, pain-free and have few, if any, unpleasant side effects. 

Pain specialists have a wide spectrum of traditional and alternative treatments to battle several types of neuropathy from physical therapy to acupuncture and newer non-invasive pain treatments.

You are taking more and more medications to treat your pain and it isn’t helping.

Over time, most medications become less effective at decreasing pain (“tolerance”). A pain specialist can help review the medications you have been using and usually find alternatives that can help manage your pain more effectively.

In my case, as a chiropractic physician, we’ll implement therapies that don’t even involve the use of medications, in many cases. (This was my original impetus to introduce Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment to my patients).

You want to know if you have any alternatives to surgery.

Many patients have pain that can be quite severe but view surgery as the last possible treatment alternative. Additionally, some patients’ pain is a result of surgery so they are obviously reticent about undergoing more operations.

Your pain has decreased with treatment but your progress has stopped or stalled.

Increasingly, people are not willing to settle for a life living with “manageable” or “bearable” pain day-in and day-out. Often, patients make steady progress with family doctor-prescribed medications or therapies but reach a point where their pain is no longer lessened.

When a doctor has utilized all the methodologies at his disposal but the pain is still present, it may be time to seek out a pain management specialist.

Don’t we all want to live our lives without any pain? Don’t settle and don’t give up. There are a wealth of viable, high quality treatments to combat many types of neuropathy. Find a doctor who understands the origin of your pain and offers a detailed treatment protocol strategy designed specifically for you.

Once treatment begins, call or email your doctor and give him an update about how you are feeling. Don’t politely wait until your next appointment. If something isn’t working, your doctor can make changes and adjustments. Always remember, as a patient, you are the doctor’s customer.

Johns Hopkins doctor / researcher studies Calmare declares he’s a “believer”

national pain report

Dr. Thomas Smith reported today in the National Pain Report that after four long years of studying Calmare scrambler therapy, his findings found:

“We’re not talking about a 10 percent reduction in pain. We’re talking a 50 to 80 percent reduction in pain, which is exactly what one sees with spinal cord stimulation,” says Smith.

 As reported in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, while Calmare  has been used primarily to treat neuropathy, it  has also been used to treat other chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, phantom limb pain, back pain, and Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (also known as RSD).

Overall, I thought this report was forthright and finally confirms what we’ve been saying all along. Once we hear good news from the Mayo Clinic study, more people in pain will hear about scrambler therapy and seek treatment. The insurance companies will finally be forced to face the reality of the cost effectiveness of this alternative solution to pain and properly cover this treatment.

Our day is coming.

Reader Request: My POV on the spinal cord stimulator (SCS)

Over the course of the past few years, I’ve been asked about my position on the use of a spinal cord stimulator as a treatment for severe, treatment-resistant pain.  I’m treating a patient this week with an SCS (turned off during the 10-treatment cycle) and received another query last night via Facebook,  so I’ve composed my own personal position statement on the subject, based upon my experience:

spinal cord stimulatorFirst, each patient’s medical condition is unique and the prescribing doctor must use all of his resources to procure the most viable treatment plan offering the best chance of a successful outcome. My opinion is based upon the patients I have treated over the years with these implanted devices.

How Calmare Therapy’s electric transmission differs from SCS
SCS is, at best, a temporary relief. There seems to be about a three to six- month period when it can be optimally effective. The SCS functions like a tens machine which transmits a single current. Conversely, Calmare’s scrambler therapy technology offers 16 different currents which constantly alternate so that no one sequence is repeated during a treatment. This variability prevents the brain from learning to tolerate it (as with the SCS) and therefore will not accommodate to it.

Why is the SCS often a short-term solution for pain relief? The brain will learn to tolerate a single consistent current and ultimately it will be less effective. The SCS is especially tricky for the RSD / CRPS patients due to the surgical implantation involved and the potential for the development of additional pain symptoms after the procedure.

Cost Benefit Analysis
Another practical aspect is the cost of the SCS, which can be more than $60,000, sometimes partially covered by insurance, but often not. To me, when you compare the cost of 10 Calmare treatments ($2,500 total) combined with the fact that it is:

• non-invasive
• has no painful side effects
• doesn’t involve any pharmaceutical use
• cleared by the FDA

It does make me wonder why the SCS garners so much attention.

Many patients using the SCS experience some anxiety when I tell them their device will be shut off for 10 days, which is certainly justifiable. As a Calmare provider, there is nothing better than having these patients later tell me they have no need to turn it back after their treatment cycle is complete.

If you or a loved one has the SCS device implanted and it is not providing the desired results, please contact our office so we can learn more about your medical history, treatment efforts, medication usage and personal experience with your device. From this information, we can mutually determine if scrambler therapy might be a viable treatment alternative for you.

Dr. Cooney is now a columnist on SpineUniverse.com

spine-universe logoI was pleased to be asked by spineuniverse.com to act as one of their columnists. I will be writing about drug-free, non-invasive treatments for chronic pain connected to the back and spine (which includes just about any pain). 

Besides being one of 10 Certified providers of Calmare scrambler therapy, I look forward to sharing some of the therapies I have used with patients in pain as a result of acute injury, chronic disease, post-surgical pain and pain after chemotherapy treatment (CIPN ).

If you’d like to take a look, here’s my inaugural article about the value of music therapy for chronic pain patients http://www.spineuniverse.com/blogs/cooney/tune-turn-down-chronic-pain