September 30, 2015

By Dr. Michael J. Cooney, Clinical Director, Calmare Therapy NJ

One of the challenges treating (and fighting) chronic pain is that you usually can’t see it. Often, there are no outward signs of the neuropathy—no visible bruises, cuts or other physical symptoms.

But for some patients battling complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and other conditions, the discomfort from physical symptoms can actually rival the chronic pain.

CRPS is a notoriously difficult condition to treat using medications or various therapeutic options. It usually develops either following injury to a peripheral nerve (type II) or as a result of trauma without obvious peripheral nerve damage (type I). It presents with a characteristic constellation of sensory, motor, autonomic and vascular signs.

“Bridget” (not her real name for privacy reasons), a registered nurse no longer able to work, came to us with one of the most severe cases of CRPS (also called RSD) lesions we have seen since Michael was here a few years ago. She sent us these images (below) before she came to NJ to ensure we understood the severity of her skin condition.

Kelly before stomach
Bridget before 3
Bridget before 4
I was not deterred; we had treated this side effect in other patients battling RSD and CRPS.  Prior to coming to New Jersey, the 40-year-old told us that she spent “most of her time in bed.” 

Bridget Tries Several CRPS Treatments Prior to Scrambler Therapy in NJ

Working with several physicians and pain management specialists, Bridget took the usual regimen of pain medications, including Neurontin, to treat her neuropathy.

She also underwent these invasive treatments:

  • Stellate ganglion blocks (sympathetic nerve block administered into the front of the neck by injection)
  • Spinal cord stimulator (SCS) a device implanted into the spinal column (she has since removed the batteries from the device, no longer needing it)
  • Ketamine infusions

Severe CRPS Lesions

Bridget before 5Now suffering from fully body CRPS after sustaining a fall in 2012, Bridget was also dealing with increasingly large and inflamed lesions on her left flank and abdomen.

Due to the severity of the lesions, she had to be hospitalized during a period when they became infected. 

Bridget arrives at Calmare Therapy NJ at a 10/10 pain level

She was in extreme discomfort when she arrived her– her pain level was unrelenting and nearly unbearable.

In addition to the lesions shown here, Bridget was also forced to deal with these ongoing side effects:

  • Allodynia
  • Numbness in different parts of her body
  • Tingling / pins and needles sensations, sweating spells 24/7
  • Skin burning sensations and intermittent swelling
  • Electrical shock sensations
  • Severe sensitivity to temperature changes

Not surprisingly, she was virtually unable to sleep–which added another set of debilitating symptoms to face–including mental exhaustion and depression.

After Calmare Therapy: She heads home without pain for the first time in 3 years

Bridget finished up her treatment cycle a few weeks ago. (Due to the severity of her case, she underwent additional treatments). By the end, she had achieved a true pain-free state for the first time in over three years. She felt so pleased with her condition, Bridget removed the batteries from her SCS.

The majority of her symptoms noted above were gone. You can also see the overall improvement in her lesions below as well.  I expect them to continubridget after 3e to dimBridget after 1inish so long as she follows our post-treatment protocol.

Bridget left us mobile and able to perform a regular daily routine without help.  One of her last statements to me before leaving was, “It feels so weird to be pain-free. I’m just stunned.”

Might Calmare Therapy Be Right for You?

Welcome to a healthcare practice that is different from most others you may be experienced. At Calmare Therapy NJ, we specialize in drug-free treatments for severe chronic pain on a personalized, one-on-one basis. And, more often than not, you’ll talk at length with me–not a nurse or a staff member–about your condition. (If I don’t think the scrambler is right for you, I’ll tell you..)

Fill out the information below and I’ll be happy to you or a loved one to chat.  .

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