By Dr. Michael Cooney, Clinical Director
During the course of your life, you may experience chronic pain, which is generally described as consistent pain lasting for at least three months. The neuropathy may result from an injury; side effect from a chronic disease treatment for a condition, such as chemotherapy; or simply wear and tear on an aging body.
Regardless, choosing a pain management provider requires special preparation to find the right doctor to relieve your pain and achieve your desired outcome.
Unlike a broken arm or a case of shingles, neuropathy can’t be observed with the naked eye. Therefore, it is essential for the patient to be able to describe their pain, including the level of pain, based upon a verbal conversation.
One of our Calmare patients recommends, “During your first visit/interview with the pain management provider, note if the doctor asks pointed and very specific questions about your neuropathy. Based upon their feedback, do you feel he/she clearly understood your responses?”
Further, you and the doctor need to support a similar philosophy regarding the type of pain management you will undergo.
Clearly define your treatment outcome expectations
Dependent on how long you have lived with long-term pain, it is important to clearly delineate your treatment goals—
- Do you want to eliminate the need for prescription pain medications or invasive therapies?
- Do you want to be completely pain-free, or would you be satisfied if your pain level remained under 3/10?
- Do you want to alleviate a need for mobility devices?
- Is your goal to return to work full-time or attend school?
Once you have stated your pain therapy goals, the next step is to determine if the doctor has the tools and mindset to lessen or eliminate your pain successfully.
Pain management clinicians come from many healthcare backgrounds
Doctors who treat neuropathic pain generally specialize in a specific sub-specialty such as pediatrics, orthopedics, gastroenterology, psychiatry, neurology, geriatric care or rheumatology, for example.
Keep in mind, many highly-skilled pain management clinicians are not medical doctors (MDs); they specialize in providing pain relief through chiropractic care, podiatry, acupuncture and a host of other proven alternative therapies.
I was a clinical chiropractor for 30+ years before administering Calmare scrambler therapy exclusively at my New Jersey clinic.
For me, working with the body’s central nervous system for three decades served as an essential skill in optimally placing the leads required for successful scrambler therapy outcomes.
With the explosion of opioid abuse over the past decade, just prescribing pain medications to people with chronic pain is no longer a long-term solution to managing pain for most people.
I have been a strong believer that medications are not usually required to overcome pain throughout my career.
You are the hiring manager for your personal healthcare team
You, and the neuropathic pain specialist you choose, should be of similar mindsets in terms of your treatment strategy. If you would like to manage your pain without pain medication, for example, you may not be a fit with a specialist who quickly pulls out his prescription pad as you describe your symptoms.
Ask how frequently the doctor treats people with your specific medical condition/s and describe the overall success rate (pain elimination or significant reduction).
In our practice, we have a list of patient volunteers who are willing to speak with potential patients about their Calmare scrambler therapy treatment experiences.
What better way to find out more about a doctor and his treatment than from other patients?
Does the pain management doctor successfully answer these questions?
I suggest you bring along the eight questions below to your first visit. Besides eliciting information you need to make your decision, you are also laying the groundwork for your treatment outcome goals and expectations.
Their answers will clarify whether you two are a complementary fit–or you need to interview more candidates.
Note: I’d like to thank our Calmare patients and chronic pain friends on Facebook who contributed their firsthand input to these questions below:
- Do you regularly treat patients with my condition? If not, how many patients have you treated with my condition and what was the outcome for the majority?
- What is your area of medical specialty in treating nerve pain?
- Can you offer a typical outcome for patients with my condition and pain level?
- What percentage of your patients experience a significant reduction in pain within six months?
- For my condition, what are the most common treatment protocols you prescribe, starting with the least invasive?
- Do you feel pain medication is the primary treatment plan for me? Why?
- Do you support alternative pain therapies and, if so, can you describe them?
- Based upon your expertise, what do you project my ‘best-case outcome may be?
Remember, the doctor works for you and is being paid to provide you with healthcare that will make you feel healthier, less pain and improve your quality of life. This is a tall order that will require a significant commitment.
Ensure that you are working with a care provider you believe is best suited to meet your needs and health goals.
If you are interested in pursuing Calmare Therapy for neuropathy (chronic nerve pain), please reach out to schedule your no-fee phone or video consultation with Dr. Cooney by calling (201) 933-4440, email us at email@example.com or complete the contact card at the bottom of the page:
Calmare scrambler therapy is not right for everyone experiencing neuropathic pain; after a clinical consultation (sometimes performed by phone for clients residing outside of our metro New York City geographic area and out of country patients), we will not recommend this therapy for you if Dr. Cooney does not feel there is a strong possibility for significant pain relief, elimination of pain, markedly improved mobility or a significant improvement in quality of life.