By Dr. Michael J. Cooney, Clinical Director
Chronic nerve pain after a Shingles diagnosis is one of the most challenging neuropathies to manage with sustained success. But here at Calmare Therapy in NJ, we have used the scrambler therapy medical device to provide pain relief to several people dealing with the painful after-effects of shingles–post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN.
For example, Ted, a 72-year-old US Military veteran featured in the Calmare YouTube patient video above, finally achieved sustained pain relief after living with chronic pain for years.
Ted tried countless medications, invasive treatments and therapies without success and his quality-of-life was greatly diminished for more than a year.
PHN Clinical Trial Testing 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 clinical trial where they achieved an outstanding 95% reduction in pain a month after the treatment with no side effects.
“The average pain score rapidly diminished from 7.64 ± 1.46 at baseline to 0.42 ± 0.89 at 1 month, a 95% reduction, with continued relief at 2 and 3 months. Patients achieved maximum pain relief with less than 5 treatments.”
Another study 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.
“In this randomized pilot trial, Scrambler therapy appeared to relieve chronic neuropathic pain better than guideline-based drug management.”
Shingles is a neuropathic pain condition that requires careful management
Once the pain symptoms are controlled, the disease still requires management to offset recurrences.
As in all chronic disease management, making a small effort to optimally manage your PHN can offer big rewards in how you look and feel every day. Furthermore, you’ll feel less pain, fewer physical symptoms, and be one day closer to remission.
These lifestyle recommendations can help you deal with chronic pain and other PHN symptoms, and most importantly, they put you in the driver’s seat of your health (not your shingles!)
- Prioritize your mental health.
PHN can cause emotional distress and depression. If you’re feeling blue, have a prepared list of things to do to get through rough times ─ call a supportive friend or loved one, spend time with people who encourage you, or devote more time to spiritual services. If you are up to it, do good for others in whatever capacity you can offer. Get professional support by working with a therapist specializing in disease management and chronic pain.
Based on my experience and interaction with other virologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of Shingles, I’ve outlined five lifestyle recommendations for people recovering after shingles and/or managing post-herpetic neuralgia or PHN:
1. Focus on a healthy diet
I can’t stress the power or importance of nutrition enough: Eating whole foods, rather than chemical-laden processed foods, is extremely beneficial to your overall health and recovery from shingles. Food is the best medicine in the world. Devote your diet to eating generous portions of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and smaller amounts of healthy fats.
2. Exercise in moderation
Since you live with chronic pain, you know that regular exercise can help you improves muscle strength, mobility, stress management and blood flow. If your Shingles symptoms are severe, work with a physical therapist or certified personal trainer who specializes in disease management.
3. Establish a regular sleep schedule
Adopt a sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. And for maximum sleep benefits, be sure you’re sleeping at least 8 hours each night.
4. Find ways that help you to cope with stress effectively
Dealing with stress can help you manage the pain associated with PHN. Stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, pet therapy, deep breathing, walking in your garden are so popular today. They work. Find an activity that helps you relax.
5. Have a positive attitude
Admittedly, some days it’s not easy. But recognizing all that is good and positive is key when dealing with PHN.
With today’s alternative therapies that don’t include any drugs, such as scrambler therapy, there is no need to ‘accept’ all the debilitating symptoms that come with a shingles diagnosis.
You can fight back and get the quality of life you deserve.
Would you like to discuss your Shingles case? Please feel free to reach out to my team and me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Bergen County clinic at 201-933-4440 and we’ll set up a prompt live phone or video chat (if you are calling from outside the US).