April 24, 2019
2019 Scrambler Therapy Pain Management Update
By Dr. Michael Cooney, Clinical Director, Calmare Therapy NJ USA
In 2010, as I obtained the professional training to use the Calmare MC-5A device, I grew more excited about using technology to deliver pain relief to my patients without the need for any prescription drugs.
Nine years later, I’d like to offer an update about the progress we have made helping people reduce or even eliminate treatment- and medication-resistant chronic pain.
Those of us who work in pain management were not surprised to see the eventual explosion of the opioid crisis. My healthcare specialty as a doctor of chiropractic requires using drug-free techniques to minimize and eliminate pain.
Calmare scrambler is a remarkable pain management therapy for several reasons, including the fact that it can be used to combat several types of chronic nerve pain (neuropathy), including chemotherapy treatments (CIPN), Shingles (PHN), diabetes, post-surgical pain and unexplained nerve pain.
How Calmare Can Lessen Severe Pain for CRPS Sufferers
What I did not foresee was the vast community of CRPS sufferers who had tried a myriad of medications, painful procedures, surgeries, treatments– and were still left with debilitating pain.
I’m often asked why scrambler therapy is one treatment that can significantly reduce CRPS pain and physical symptoms:
- Skin lesions that will not close/heal
- Hair loss
- Skin discoloration
After treating more than 1,000 patients, over the past nine years, it is apparent to me that CRPS /RSD is a unique communication between local skin tissue and the pain center of the brain.
How Calmare Therapy Works
The Calmare MC-5A device scrambles this misfiring pain message/signal–which says there is pain—when, in fact, there is not.
After the technology scrambles this misfiring message over a series of daily treatments for a period of two weeks, in most cases, the brain’s misfiring message ceases and pain is eliminated.
Using several small electrodes (think EKG) carefully placed in the region of the injury, the technology sends a mild and painless “no pain” message to the brain through the electrodes.
Essentially, the scrambler machine “overrides” the brain’s confused message and corrects it to the ‘no pain here” message.
Keep in mind, the brain can send this faulty pain message to any region of the body—even a location which never sustained any kind of injury.
There is, in fact, no physiological reason for the pain.
As a comparison, phantom limb pain can result when a person who has undergone an amputation still feels significant pain in the part of the body which has been amputated.
Calmare is a ‘Provider-Dependent’ pain therapy.
Therefore, it is essential to confirm your provider’s expertise
and measurable success treatment your type of neuropathy.
Calmare Clinical Trial Success: Mayo Clinic
Dr. Charles L. Loprinzi, who was interviewed in January 2016 after leading his own successful Calmare clinical trial for the Mayo Clinic, explains,
“TENS (a self-administered tens unit) is thought to work through the gateway theory of temporary pain relief, whereby normal touch sensations blocks pain sensations.
But scrambler therapy, on the other hand, provides ‘no-pain’ electrical information via nerves which have received transmissions of chronic pain information.”
Dr. Loprinzi said that through a process called ‘plasticity,’ the brain is ‘retrained’ and will no longer register a pain sensation in the affected area.
To date, there are at least 20 published reports on scrambler therapy that included results involving close to 1,000 patients in total.
These reports include clinical practice summaries, prospective non-randomized clinical trials and randomized controlled trials, including two trials that sought to double-blind patients and investigators.
Mayo Clinic Calmare Trial Patient Story: “Side-Lined No More”
Post-Clinical Trial Interview with Dr. Loprinzi
Calmare Case Studies
With patients’ permission, we regularly share their outcomes on our website. I’d like to share a few of our successful patient outcomes in the past year:
Peter Hinninger – New Jersey, USA
CRPS for 17 Years
For 17 long years, Peter tried every medication and every treatment, including a spinal cord stimulator (neuromodulation or SCS) to lessen his chronic pain.
Still, his pain level hovered around a consistent 7-8 on the Pain Scale.
After the completion of the standard 10-treatment therapy, we both teared up when he realized he was pain-free for the first time in more than a decade.
Peter and his long-time partner co-wrote a book detailing his Calmare Therapy treatment experience.
Cara – Scotland
Young teenager Cara from the UK underwent several therapies and pain management medications to lessen her neuropathy. She was still left in pain throughout much of her body.
Ultimately, her family elected to seek an alternative medicine solution and chose to cross the pond to the U.S. so that Cara could be treated by our Calmare New Jersey team.
I’m delighted to report she sustained a terrific outcome. Best of all, she left smiling with her pain level down to a 1/10.
She and her mother tell her story here: https://calmaretherapynj.com/calmare-patient-testimonial/cara-scotland-pediatric-crps/
Tonya Schuler – West Virginia, USA
CRPS after Carpal Tunnel Surgery
“When my pain management doctor told me a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) was the final treatment option, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands and reach out to the chronic pain community for a less invasive option,” Tonya explains.
After her routine hand and wrist surgery, the chronic pain started in one hand and soon spread to the other. As the condition worsened, the chronic nerve pain spread to her neck, back and stomach.
Tonya tells her personal story after undergoing Calmare Therapy:
Hope, Fortitude, Tenacity, Sheer Determination
You can read or watch more of our patient stories, most of whom arrived at our clinic bearing the weight of daily pain that made work, school–even socializing or taking a walk in the park–impossible.
They courageously tried invasive pain relief procedures and side-effect-laden painkillers and opioids without success, up to the day they arrived at our clinic.
Not surprisingly, many new patients arrive at our clinic skeptical and dejected.
Who could blame them?
But they all had one key attribute that remained steadfast–regardless of all the treatment disappointments.
And we were honored that they mustered the remarkable fortitude to try (one more time) to mitigate their pain and regain their quality of life.
Providing Pain Relief to Children, Teens, Adults and Seniors
Eight years after introducing scrambler therapy to our clinic, I have treated children, teens, parents, and grandparents, most of whom are living pain levels from 8-10 every day.
In 2019, Calmare is now the only pain relief therapy we offer here in our NJ clinic.
After 10 daily treatment sessions, lasting about 35-minutes each, more than seven in 10 patients achieve a pain-free state or a reduction in pain to the degree that enables them to resume a pleasurable quality of life.
Why do 30 percent not achieve pain relief?
Sometimes they have additional health issues which interfere with treatment, sometimes they are non-compliant after therapy, and sometimes we just don’t know why Calmare did not lessen their pain, unfortunately.
In this era of failed opioid pain relief and increasing difficulty obtaining medication for chronic pain, people in pain are seeking drug-free options to lessen pain.
Nine years since first introducing Calmare scrambler therapy, I have never felt more assured that this treatment can dramatically elevate the quality of life for people living with chronic pain.
Dr. Michael Cooney is one of seven certified Calmare providers in the U.S. His clinic is located just outside New York City. He is a professionally certified chiropractor who has been treating severe acute and chronic pain conditions for more than 35 years.
After introducing Calmare Therapy in 2011, he soon began helping people with treatment-resistant neuropathy from as far away as South America, South Africa, Australia and Europe.