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A wrist surgery leads to reflex sympathetic dystrophy ( RSD) covering right side of body

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July 2014:  Calmare Therapy NJ Case Study

RSD is a heartless disease. For many patients, it begins near an area of the body which has sustained an injury or surgery and, over time, can spread to other parts of the body. Kim Williamson from upstate New York can certainly relate:

Kim Williamson_FINALKim sustained a right wrist injury that required two surgeries on the top and bottom of her wrist. Her RSD began in her right shoulder but by the time she arrived here in New Jersey for Calmare scrambler therapy treatment, she was in a wheelchair. The RSD spread down the right side of her body into her leg. The pain from walking was so debilitating, she could no longer walk at all. If she was forced to use her leg, she would drag it behind her to avoid putting any pressure on it at all.

In addition to the chronic neuropathy, Kim has skin discoloration, allodynia, open sores on the upper right arm and difficulty sleeping.

“I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I felt like I had lost my life and nothing was normal anymore,” Kim recalls. She was no longer able to work and relied on the standard protocol of RSD painkillers to get through the day.

Kim sees The Doctors” television program about Calmare scrambler therapy

Kim watched the June 2014 episode of the nationally syndicated television show, “The Doctors” which featured Calmare Therapy. “I liked that it wasn’t a painful treatment and didn’t have any side effects,” Kim explains. “I was determined to see if this could help me get even a little of my old life back.”

Kim said, in a best case scenario, she hoped that Calmare chronic pain treatment might help her to walk again and ideally lessen her pain by 80 percent.

Dr. Cooney weighs in on Kim’s case

“You never get used to seeing a Calmare patient arrive for treatment in a wheelchair,” Dr. Cooney says. “It lights a fire in me to help that patient defeat the RSD, CRPS or whatever disease has caused this person to become immobile.” Dr. Cooney, one of 10 Certified providers of Calmare Therapy in the U.S., will generally recommend a treatment protocol of 10 daily therapy treatments, lasting 30 to 60 minutes each.

“Although Kim’s case was severe, she responded very successfully to treatment. After three treatments, she was walking again,” Dr. Cooney recalls with a smile. After treatment number eight, Kim was pain-free and her physical symptoms were diminishing just as quickly. Dr. Cooney says he didn’t feel any further treatments were needed at that time because she was without pain and for a sustained period of time.

The whole office was elated to see Kim walk out the door and head back home very differently than when she arrived. She was kind enough to make a video testimonial for Calmare NJ which we’ll share with you soon.

New Jersey woman returns to her demanding real estate career after successful scrambler therapy treatment

Chrissy
Click here to watch Dr. Cooney and Christina discuss her treatment plan.

Christina, a professional whose career requires her to be out in the field several days a week, was debilitated by pain from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to the point she was no longer able to work.

Christimageina took matters into her own hands and discovered Dr. Cooney, one of 10 Calmare certified providers in the United States.

Here, Dr. Cooney and Christina share their doctor and patient expertise and positive outcome (video).

A young mother with severe RSD tries Calmare scrambler therapy

Jennifer Torres McCarroll with Dr. CooneyJennifer McCarroll, a young mother of two young children, has lived with severe RSD, day-in and day-out, since she was injured 12 long years ago when her wrist was severely injured resulting in an eventual RSD diagnosis. Determined to get her life back, she aggressively underwent a plethora of pain therapy efforts over the years including:

  • Powerful medications
  • Nerve blocks
  • Surgery
  • Spinal cord stimulator
  • Ketamine creme

Unfortunately, she garnered little or no pain relief. After reading about Calmare Therapy on a Facebook RSD Support Group page, she presented to us with a consistent pain level of 10 / 10 and these physical symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Severe allodynia (sensitivity to touch)
  • Ongoing cramping

From the start, I explained that the longer a patient has lived with the RSD, the longer treatment results will take, in most cases. After examining her and talking at length about her medical history, I determined Jennifer’s case was one of the most severe RSD conditions I had seen to date.

An Update After 10 Treatments

After treatment #10, Jennifer’s pain is down to 3.5 for the first time in more than a decade. Her physical symptoms have significantly diminished as well ─ she has no more swelling; the skin discoloration is gone; her allodynia is at a mild level and cramping occurs only when she lifts her arms over her head.

Moving Forward

We are continuing this week with five more treatments (11-15) with the goal of achieving 0 pain for Jennifer for the first time since she can remember.

Jennifer shared this public message on Facebook (which meant the world to us) and permitted us to share it here:

Hello!

I hope everyone will take a minute to read this…

 I have lived with RSD since 2001 you would be surprised how easy it is to hurt your body or damage it. I have seen so many doctors–some tried to help my pain, but as I progressed, most doctors didn’t know what to do.  Some put me through some of the craziest procedures… ,some where more understandable, and some felt it was “all my head”…

I have gotten up for 12 years every day and I suck-it-up and bite the pain because I am a mother.. So when I asked myself, “Did I try everything?” I can say “YES!”

I have lived with a pain level of 10/10 all this time.

I really lost hope believing I could ever be what I call normal (no pain).  Then I read about Calmare Therapy on the Internet.  I figured it couldn’t make me any worse than I already was so I went to Dr. Cooney.

 Now, 10 Calmare treatments later, and I’m feeling about a 3-5 pain level. Dr. Cooney has been doing my Calmare and I think he’s the best (patient, nice, caring). His office staff is really great too. They make you comfortable to be there and for people with high pain (we’re never comfortable no matter where we are)…they make you smile.

Thanks Dr. Cooney!  I love being able to hug my Mom and my kids again which I haven’t been able to do for so, so long.

Thanks Calmare Therapy!

Another shingles — post hepetic neuralgia — patient has great outcome after Calmare Therapy

shinglesIt’s been another fruitful week here in the trenches of the war on chronic pain. You might recall about six months ago I treated Joan from New York,  a former pharma executive, for post herpetic neuralgia ( PHN ) or shingles, and she experienced a very positive outcome after Calmare Therapy.  She generously wrote a letter about her experience, from a patient point-of-view, which she generously allowed us to publish.

This week, I began treating a male patient in his 70’s, a former physics professor, interestingly, presenting with PHN as well.  He has been suffering with this disease and the ensuing chronic pain since 2007.

When he arrived Monday, his pain level was an 8 to 9 on his right flank.  His stated goal was to ultimately reduce his pain to level 2.  Following today’s treatment (#5), he stated the pain level went from a 4/5 (Friday pre-treatment) to a 1/2 for the first time.  He and his wife were elated, to say the least. And this is only the first week of his 10-treatment scrambler therapy regime.

Coincidentally, the Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore just published results from their own study using Calmare to alleviate pain specifically for PHN pain and and reported an outstanding  95 percent reduction in pain for these patients. Their researchers called for additional testing based upon these promising results. You can read about this study, published by the  National Institutes of Health, here:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23838448?dopt=Abstract

As for my patient, I expect his pain may creep up a bit over the weekend but he has five more treatments scheduled for next week.  We all have high hopes for even more good news ahead.

Wishing everyone a relaxing, low pain weekend.

Pain management physician at Johns Hopkins recommends pharma tech undergo Calmare Therapy for RSD pain

Amy Horwitz headshotForty-six-year-old Amy Horwitz is a bigger-than-life, vivacious, “mover and shaker”. So when complications from a 2010 neck surgery left her immobilized and bedridden, her whole life was turned upside down. She was no longer the care-free, independent woman she used to be. Not only did Amy become dependent on a cane or walker to get around, but her husband had to quit his job to stay home and care for her.

She knew it was time to seek professional help to figure out the source of her never-ending chronic pain. “I felt like I had a boa constrictor going around my legs. I felt pain everywhere from my head to my toes,” Amy explains. “My pain was literally off the charts.”

The former pharma tech is handed scripts for painkillers

Amy's hand before Calmare Therapy
Amy’s hand before Calmare Therapy

Desperate for relief, Amy visited several highly regarded medical specialists, including an orthopedist and a neurosurgeon. But instead of receiving a diagnosis, she was told that her pain was psychogenic (in the mind) and she received a myriad of prescriptions for antidepressants, muscle relaxants and strong narcotics, including the highly addictive Oxycotin. As a former pharmaceutical tech, Amy was well aware of the debilitating side effects of these narcotics, some of which she had experienced firsthand. “I wanted relief─but did not want to live my life dependent on expensive and dangerous pain medications,” says Amy.

Amy and her husband face the source of her chronic pain–head-on

Disappointed but not defeated, Amy took matters into her own hands. With the help of her devoted husband, they conducted extensive research of her symptoms on the Internet and agreed in their mutual self-diagnosis of reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). She immediately made an appointment with a top RSD specialist at John Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center. After hearing of Amy’s desire for a drug-free solution to her chronic pain,  her doctor  recommended a newer treatment for pain that tricks the brain’s pain signal and is showing great results for RSD sufferers–Calmare Therapy

Calmare uses a biophysical (using physical methods to treat biological problems) rather than a biochemical (drugs) approach to pain management. It is a pain-free, non-invasive treatment for nerve pain that uses electrodes placed on the skin to deliver a ‘no-pain’ message directly to the nerve. After Amy’s online research turned up numerous success stories from RSD patients treated with Calmare Therapy, she was finally feeling hopeful. She left her home in Maryland and headed to the Rutherford Allied Medical Group in NJ to meet Dr. Cooney, the man with the machine that she hoped would give her back her life.

Amy's hand after treatment.
Amy’s hand after treatment.

When Amy first arrived at Dr. Cooney’s office on May 20, 2013, her pain was a 10 / 10 on the Pain Scale. After just one 45-minute Calmare treatment, she started to feel immediate relief. After nine more sessions, one per day, her pain level dropped to 2 / 10. “The swelling on my hands had gone down and the pain in my legs had significantly improved. I am finally able to move on my own. I can honestly say I feel like myself again for the first time in years,” says Amy. She is still amazed by the fact that she can grab a glass and put ice in it herself. “It is an incredible feat for me,” laughs Amy.

She is very grateful to Dr. Cooney for making it possible. “I can’t believe how lucky I was to have met him,” she says. “He is the nicest doctor I have ever known– caring, considerate, thoughtful, great bedside manner–and most of all–a great heart. I don’t know what I would have done without him.”

Amy starts on her own mission to help others with RSD

While Amy is not completely pain-free, she says she can finally see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” Now she wants other people suffering from chronic pain to see that light as well. She has already referred several patients from her RSD support group to Calmare Therapy and she’s planning to call as many media outlets as she can in Maryland to tell them about this side-effect-free treatment for many kinds of chronic pain.

Amy does not know what her future will bring. She hopes to try yoga and ride a rollercoaster again. But one thing she knows for sure is that, “I’m moving and I’m not stopping  ever again.”

Joy from West Virginia wins the RSD war with Calmare Therapy

Last week, I received this update from Joy:

“I have come off of 5 meds so far since my last Calmare treatment. I can’t believe the difference in my clarity. I never really read the side effects of them until yesterday… Thanks again for your magic machine.  The first Saturday I was home, my husband and I took a little hike! He has been so happy with the outcome of the treatments! Okie dokie, keep working your magic!!”

Joy_WV_4.2013Joy is one of those vivacious people who are bigger than life–she has a winning personality and charisma that is off the charts  (her name suits her perfectly). The fact that she’s been living for years with RSD pain in her foot after a fall is unbelievable.

Yet again, her neurologist told her that to minimize the RSD pain she would need a neurostimulator implanted into her spine and a tabletop full of drugs. And, like many,  she simply said, “no.”

Joy came to see me last year to try one Calmare treatment.  I offer this to anyone who I feel may benefit from the treatment. (The first visit is free if there is no reduction in pain. If they feel the relief, then that visit is the first of ten). While patients don’t always experience immediate pain relief, so do. This was Joy’s case. In fact,  she went home after a single treatment (the standard protocol is a 10-treatment series, one per day). But a year later the pain returned and she decided to undergo the full treatment series to achieve longer-lasting pain relief. However, her response early on was so successful that we agreed that eight treatments was enough and off she went back to West Virginia.

She filmed a video here depicting her experience. As you can see, this is not a woman who is going to give up easily. And, thankfully, she left us, wearing her favorite boots again.

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