By Dr. Michael Cooney, Clinical Director, Calmare Therapy NJ
Over the past few years, a significant percentage of the RSD / CRPS /fibromyalgia patients I treated had previously undergone Ketamine Infusion Therapy. I’d like to offer a little background on Ketamine and share some feedback from my patients who used it in various forms—through IV, creams and even as a form of coma-inducing sedation.
For RSD, CRPS and fibromyalgia sufferers, Ketamine is sometimes recommended for temporary chronic pain relief. It is an NMDA blocker that shuts down pain signals coming from the brain and then reboots the brain without the pain signal.
Successful outcome statistics for RSD patients treated with Ketamine are less than 50%. Boosters are necessary every two – three months and the cost averages about $2,000/ treatment. Each IV infusion takes about four to five hours.
Patients sometimes experience significant and unpleasant side effects from this drug, including hallucinations, nausea, extreme fatigue, mental confusion, substantial weight-gain and ‘claw hand’ syndrome.
Criteria to undergo Calmare scrambler therapy after Ketamine treatment
If you have undergone Ketamine treatment without a successful outcome, you can undergo Calmare (assuming your medical condition is determined appropriate for treatment). However, there must be a full two-month span between the last Ketamine treatment and the start of Calmare.
In fact, the less neurolytic drugs (Lyrica, Neurontin, Cymbalta) patients are using during Calmare Therapy, the better. Why? Because these drugs have an effect on brain activity and conflict with the functionality of Calmare to optimally do its job.
In other words, you need to feel your body’s untreated pain in order to identify when the scrambler therapy is lessening the neuropathy, for how long and to what degree.
I realize that for patients who have been reliant on neurolytic drugs for months or years, reducing the dosage of medication before our treatment starts can be daunting. My argument is that the potential rewards for patients who undergo Calmare Therapy may eliminate the need for these expensive and debilitating drugs. Permanently.
Therefore, I believe this is a gamble worth pursuing.
Every patient’s case is unique because we all react to injury and pain, acute or chronic, in different ways. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about Calmare Therapy, please feel free to contact me directly at (201) 933-444-zero.