By Dr. Michael Cooney, Clinical Director
The difference between these two medical devices can be compared to driving on a freshly-paved, 16-lane super-highway versus bumping along a single-lane, gravel-covered street.
In 2011, I replaced the tens unit with Calmare scrambler therapy, a newer device that offers more sustained pain relief and is delivered by a more sophisticated device:
Comparing scrambler therapy technology with a tens device
- The Calmare MC-5A device creates a low-energy electrical impulse that travels through the patient’s nerves delivering a “no-pain” signal to the brain using 16 distinct algorithms. This process “tricks” the brain that the area of pain is normal and eventually results in prolonged pain relief.
- TENS units use high-energy electrical impulses to block pain signals or distract the brain, but when treatment ends, the pain usually returns. It emits an electronic message over one single algorithm.
- A tens unit is self-administered by the patient, whereas the scrambler is administered by a trained medical professional.
We’ve successfully reduced or eliminated treatment-resistant neuropathy in more than 1,000 patients from more than 20 countries.
Calmare® Pain Therapy’s MC-5A technology
Calmare uses primarily “C Fibers” to transmit continuous random ‘no pain’ signals to calm the brain’s pain message center and retrains it to send a “no pain” signal.
Why does this matter? C-fibers are the specific fibers responsible for chronic pain, NOT beta fibers, which a tens device transmits across.
The TENS also relies on significantly more electricity (30 to 150 milliamps) than the scrambler device (5.5 milliamps). A second key benefit is that the Calmare device never repeats the same ‘no pain’ message. Therefore, the brain never has the opportunity to accommodate (adapt) combat the new no-pain message (as with drugs or a self-administered, hand-held TENS unit).
Who is administering your electric stimulation?
The scrambler therapy device is only administered by a specially-trained professional who obtained clinical and classroom training for optimal placement of the leads and how to use the MC-5A device to maximize sustained pain relief for the patient.
One-time treatment versus daily brain retraining for two weeks
The Calmare scrambler therapy process is scheduled at 24-hour intervals over two weeks (resting on Saturday and Sunday (between treatment 5 and 6), ensuring the brain’s pain message has been successfully ‘scrambled’ and is no longer sending a continuous pain message.
Here’s a very important point ─ pain relief using scrambler therapy is designed to provide the patient with a significantly longer pain reduction duration (often months, years or more) as opposed to using a TENS unit, where the pain returns soon after the treatment has ended.
Why 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.
The 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 instead of interrupting pain signals through the A-beta fibers (tens unit).
Questions? Call us. We’ll answer
Without question, there is a plethora of technical information to absorb in this article. Nonetheless, I hope this helps clarify the wide gap between these two electrical devices.
If you have more questions, feel free to contact me. I talk with people from around the world every day and it’s my mission in life to do so. I’ll look forward to speaking with you!