Emerging Chronic Pain Device Improving Lives

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Emerging Chronic Pain Device Improving Lives

Patients who have suffered through chronic pain for several years say a relatively new treatment has changed their lives for the better.

BY ANGELINA TALA | DEC 28, 2011 11:40 PM EST

Patients who have suffered through chronic pain for several years say a relatively new treatment has changed their lives for the better.

(Photo : (Patrick Hoesly/Flickr)) An illustration of a neuron connection.

(Photo : (Patrick Hoesly/Flickr)) An illustration of a neuron connection.
  • One patient described the results as a “miracle” which allowed her to resume her active, athletic lifestyle. Another patient said pain relief has allowed her to become a “normal mom again” after years of suffering.

Health professionals administer the Calmare pain therapy treatment, which is owned and marketed by Fairfield, Conn.-based Competitive Technologies, Inc., at 15 centers in the United States. Most of the centers are concentrated in the northeastern U.S., although there has been some expansion into other parts of the country, according to the treatment’s website.

The FDA approved product is also being studied by such institutions as the Mayo Clinic, VCU Massey Cancer Center, and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Center.

Treatment involves the use of the electronic device, also known as “Scrambler,” to fight neurological or cancer-related pain by sending signals through electrodes placed on the body that stimulate nerves in pain areas. The device signals mask the body’s pain signals, thereby reducing or eliminating pain.

Treatments, originally developed by bioengineer Giuseppe Marineo, include 45-minute sessions on weekdays for two consecutive weeks.

While some patients no longer feel pain after the initial sessions, others may need to continue with additional “booster” treatments.

Understanding Neurological Pain

Neurological pain is a chronic pain resulting from an injury to the nervous system. The pain occurs when nerves are damaged or disrupted which causes the feeling of burning or coldness, numbness, itching, aching, and pins and needles.

Two patients interviewed for this article said the brain thinks pain is there even though a problem has been fixed.

The Calmare device “tricks” the brain into believing there is no pain, which in reality, there isn’t.

Patient Experiences

Patients who received treatment spoke with Medical Daily about their experiences after years suffering with chronic pain. One patient felt pain after multiple surgeries while another suffered from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a disease of the nervous system.

Recovering from Surgery

Jill Baeter, 45, of Salt Lake City, Utah had been a lifelong skier. But after falling on black ice and crushing the cartilage in her knees she was unable to ski again. Baeter underwent 6 failed surgeries to try to repair the damage but nothing worked for her.

After receiving the Calmare treatment she said she is now pain free.

“These treatments were a miracle. I really don’t know what I would have done without it. The pain had become unbearable. I even considered amputating my leg,” she said

She went through five sessions and received a pain free profile, although she ultimately went to nine sessions.

“I went on a hike! I haven’t been able to do that in 5 years,” she said.

Quality of Life Improvement

Shannon Kelly, 42, of San Diego, Calif., who suffered from severe RSD for 5 years said the debilitating pain wouldn’t let get her get out of bed.

“The pain is so severe it’s so hard to hold a conversation with my daughter, it’s been so long she hardly knows a mom without RSD,” the mother of three said.

In her case, treatments with the anesthetic medication ketamine and a spinal cord stimulator were useless.

“Pain killers didn’t work for me, I only took them because I was advised by doctors, but they did nothing for me,” she said, adding she expected the treatment would end her use of medication.

Kelly says after treatment she feels no pain for two weeks and enjoys life “to the fullest” but the pain begins to increase in the third and fourth weeks. She says traveling to receive booster treatments every 4 to 5 weeks is worth it because she gets to spend time with her family.

“All I want is to be a normal mom again and the treatments help me achieve that,” she said.

Click here for the original article online.

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4 responses to “Emerging Chronic Pain Device Improving Lives

  1. After suffering from RSD for 13 years I had Calmare treatments last September. I flew from San Diego to Rhode Island for treatment. Just me. I am so much better now and I am so happy and I don’t know how I lived that long with 9.5+ pain 24-hours a day. It’s like the Dr. said “Here’s your life back.” I’m so happy to walk again. My RSD begin in my knee and spread to my entire leg. I am so thankful for the Calmare device. No more cane or wheelchair for me. I’m sad to loose 13 years of my life but very thankful to live the rest of my years without pain. I left Rhode Island with NO-PAIN after 10 Calmare treatments.

  2. I probably wouldn’t describe the Calmare device as something that “tricks” the brain. But the Scrambler Therapy that one gets from Calmare treatments changes the pain signal being constantly sent to the brain and instead sends a non-pain signal. It’s a Miracle!!

  3. I really want to check out this treatment. I have been dealing with CRPS for about 5 years now and recently had a nerve block that worked well. This seems like it’s a much better option. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Our teenage son suffered from CRPS for five years as a complication of bilateral knee surgeries. Nothing helped. Then I read about Scrambler therapy and we travelled to New England (Glastonbury CT) over spring break to try it. It was nothing short of miraculous! He has been totally pain free for 4 weeks now. And the skin around his scars has gone from angry red to pale white. He is running, jumping and most of all, happy! He says his knees feel “normal.” It is such a transformation that I am almost afraid to believe it. Hope it lasts!

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