September 22, 2020
We’ve been using the MC-5A Calmare scrambler therapy technology here in New Jersey since 2011. Clinical director Dr. Michael Cooney has single-handedly treated more than 1,000 patients from more than 20 countries, reducing pain levels, increasing mobility and helping people get a good night’s sleep for the first time in years.
One of the questions we are asked most often is how scrambler therapy compares to a self-administered tens device.
The difference between these two medical devices can be compared to driving on a freshly-paved 16-lane superhighway versus a one-lane, gravel-covered back road.
Technological distinctions between MC-5A (Calmare) and a tens machine
From a chronic nerve pain patient’s perspective, let’s put these two pain treatment devices head-to-head.
The operational distinctions between the two devices are significant:
- Volume of current being used
- Type of neurons transmitting the no-pain signal
- Calmare device sends a “no pain” signal on the surface C-fiber nerve receptors versus a tens, which temporarily interrupts pain signals through the A-beta fibers.
Calmare® Pain Therapy’s MC-5A Technology
This technology creates a low-energy electrical impulse that travels through the patient’s nerves delivering a “no-pain” signal to the brain. This process “tricks the brain” that the area of pain is normal and eventually results in prolonged pain relief.
Calmare uses “C Fibers” to transmit these random ‘no pain’ signals to calm the brain. It operates at 40 to 50 Hz. and 16 different algorithms deliver five dual-channel signals to restart the brain and ultimately disrupt the chronic pain loop.
There is never a repeated cycle during a Calmare treatment, so there can be no accommodation by the brain (as with drugs or a self-administered, hand-held TENS unit).
Calmare technology offers patients a significantly longer duration (often months, years or more) of reduced or 0-level chronic nerve pain versus a TENS unit, where the pain returns soon after discontinuation of the treatment.
Finally, Calmare Therapy is only administered by a medical professional who has years of clinical expertise delivering customized pain therapy.
The Calmare Device Earned a U.S. Patent Number
The scrambler machine has been awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which identifies the device as a unique entity, unlike anything else in the market (i.e. a tens unit). The U.S. Patent number is 8,380,317.
Do you want to administer your own pain management?
Of course not, especially if you are already living with treatment and medication-resistant chronic pain.
Keep in mind, the small hand-held TENS unit is self-administered by the patient, so the placement of the pads is determined not by a healthcare professional, but at the best judgment of the patient or loved one providing the treatment at home.
The tens operates using a single signal, allowing for short duration pain relief.
Most importantly, a tens machine has been designed with the goal of temporarily reducing pain.
People Living with RSD and CRPS
The use of electricity for the management of pain is certainly not unique to the Calmare medical device.
The main challenge in treating RSD/CRPS is the complicated change in the nervous system, which can be traced to changes in the brain’s receptors. As a result, therapy to resolve this kind of pain must reach the brain.
In fact, many RSD/CRPS sufferers have already tried traditional tens therapy prior to coming to our clinic.
Calmare Therapy Does Not Function Like a TENS Unit
Injury or other noxious stimuli in the body creates pain chemicals. These chemicals, in turn, are converted into electrical impulses by your nerves, which are transmitted to the brain and INTERPRETED by the brain.
When specially-trained doctors use Calmare Therapy, they “control” the electrical impulses that the brain is receiving.
By manipulating the input into the brain, they “retrain” it to remove the pain signal to the area of the body where there is, in fact, no pain.
Interestingly, medical science has already proven through other methodologies that the brain can be “taught.”
In healthcare, we refer to those changes as neuroplasticity; there are a wealth of interesting books on this topic, which we encourage you to peruse.
Questions? Call Us. We’ll Answer
Admittedly, this information is a lot to take in for people without a healthcare background. Nonetheless, we hope this helps in recognizing the critical distinctions between the two devices.
If you have questions or would like to find out if Calmare Therapy might be right for your chronic pain condition, call our friendly team at (201) 933-4440 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your chronic pain condition.