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Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment for SCI Pain??

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    Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment for SCI Pain??

    We have recently become aware of this new treatment for various types of neuropathic pain. Apparently it is most often used for cancer-related pain, but also for some other types of neuropathic pain that is non-responsive to pharmaceutical treatment, TENS, or implanted devices. Currently it is in use at only a few locations in the U.S. These include the cancer center at University Wisconsin, and, we are told, the Mayo Clinic, so this is not some kind of scam. Results have been excellent, the provider company says.
    This is a bio-physical rather than bio-chemical therapy that consists of 10 to 12 consecutive treatments, 5 days a week for two weeks. Results are said to be long-lasting. Question: has anyone tried this treatment for neuropathic pain caused by Spinal Cord Injury. If so, what was your experience with it? Our son, C 5/6, has severe neuropathic pain in a portion of one arm, and every treatment he's tried -- various drugs, surgery, acupuncture, TENS, and physical therapy-- have failed to stop this pain. We wonder if the Calmare Therapy might be the answer for him. Any opinions?

    #2
    Hi Wisconsinmom,
    Do you happen to know what these bio-physical therapies entail? I have not heard of them.
    arndog

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      #3
      Website for info on Calmare Therapy

      Go to www.calmarett.com.
      This is the equipment company's site that explains the treatment and has a link to clinics offering it. (The company's name is actually Competitive Technologies, Inc., of Fairfield, Ct.)

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        #4
        Thanks for the website. I hope it helps your son. I have trouble with their claims that 80% of patients treated had relief, but even if half that saw some relief it would be worth exploring. I also have trouble with them saying that narcotics are "harmful" but I know it is an advertisement. Good luck!

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          #5
          Narcotics Are! Harmful

          For many people with SCI, taking narcotics cause constipation. The dose high enough to reduce the pain can also make the person addle-headed, which is especially bad if the person has a job or drives or for other reasons needs to remain clear-thinking.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by wisconsinmom View Post
            For many people with SCI, taking narcotics cause constipation. The dose high enough to reduce the pain can also make the person addle-headed, which is especially bad if the person has a job or drives or for other reasons needs to remain clear-thinking.
            Yeah "wisonsonmom", live with my pain for a day and then see if you post things like "narcotics are harmful".

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              #7
              Bio-physical vs. bio-chemical pain treatment

              Sorry. I just meant that if an effective bio-physical therapy for neuropathic pain that doesn't have side effects has been or can be found, it would/ will have significant advantages over narcotics, which do have side-effects.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by wisconsinmom View Post
                Sorry. I just meant that if an effective bio-physical therapy for neuropathic pain that doesn't have side effects has been or can be found, it would/ will have significant advantages over narcotics, which do have side-effects.
                Very true, sorry pain makes me grumpy

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                  #9
                  Wis mom

                  I am not aware of any controlled study which shows biophysical treatment stops central pain. I am aware of some studies which show that some patients benefit from medicines injected by pump.

                  I think it is unlikely any one company delivering current by wire is much different from other reputable companies. Pain relief is based on the idea that electrically causing a paresthesia, or "buzzing" will block pain. Although some reports have been encouraging, others have not.

                  Pain reliefs are not measured by the institution which chooses to try them. Pain is no respecter of persons, or prestige. When I first got central pain, Mayo's did not know what it was. Collections of top specialists are good and Mayo's has since done some very good work on central pain, including the discovery that central pain patients display a palimpset of sensation which ordinary people do not display. This may indicate a shift in skill and emphasis since my experience with them. Hopefully they are just dazzlingly ahead and forging a new treatment. I have been down this road so many times, I am by habit skeptical. I am not of the opinion that institutions have sufficient means of measuring pain to know whether they have helped people or not. There is also a problem with followup. Few studies will keep tabs on patients for a full year or two to see whether things really panned out.

                  I think we will stop central pain when we fund studies such as those by Kenneth Hargreaves to block or counter the neuroinflammatory chemicals produced by nerve injury. I do not expect to see a cure before money is devoted to such research. In the meantime, I expect a lot of dithering and reattempts at unsuccessful approaches, or new combinations of drugs which are not new, just patentable. I certainly hope I am wrong about this, but after so long, there seems to be a pattern. Sort of like "new" theories of child raising, which tend to revert to more traditional principles with time. If you are a skeptic, people don't want to hear it. I have learned to accept this. Nearly everything done to me has made me worse. Lets hope I get to eat my words. In the meantime, the pain is eating me. Obviously, I have learned to curb my enthusiasm.
                  Last edited by dejerine; 3 Dec 2010, 1:28 PM.

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                    #10
                    Check out this page it has links to some data from Europe on Calmare Therapy.

                    http://www.facebook.com/notes/crps-r...69550483070233

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                      #11
                      Latest on Calmare

                      My wife suffers from CRPS, which expresses as pain in both feet following failed back surgery. She underwent Calmare scrambler therapy in August. It markedly reduced her CRPS pain and also indicated that she had non-neuropathic pain as well caused by an entrapped sciatic nerve. Calmare won't fix the latter. We currently are working on the sciatic entrapment (piriformis syndrome) and when alleviated, she will again undergo Calmare therapy. This therapy is amazing in that electrodes are placed on the skin above and below the affected dermatome and electrical signatures of the non-pain nerves (Adelta and beta fibers) are input into the pain center in the brain via the C-fibers (pain fibers). The thought is that this causes the nerve bodies to recognize non-pain signals via neuroplasticity. To date, there are no systematic controlled studies on CRPS studies published, but there are published data on the effects of Calmare on other types of painful neuropathies caused by cancer chemotherapy as a result of toxicity of the chemotherapeutic drugs. As for my wife, her entrapped nerve pain is improving slowly, and once improved, she will have another round of the scrambler therapy. Some of these devices have been placed at Walter Reed Hospital and the returning wounded military personnel are seeing wonderful results for phantom pain and other types of neuropathic pain. The most current reference is for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. This therapy is non-invasive and painless. I can give you a number to call in RI where this is performed on all types of conditions that involve neuropathic pain. This is definitely worth a shot.

                      Check this ref out:


                      J Pain Symptom Manage. 2010 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]
                      Pilot Trial of a Patient-Specific Cutaneous Electrostimulation Device (MC5-A Calmare((R))) for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy.
                      Smith TJ, Coyne PJ, Parker GL, Dodson P, Ramakrishnan V.

                      Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.

                      To the person who mentioned constipation with narcotics, take them with prune juice.

                      Kind regards,
                      Bill Hall

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                        #12
                        Bill Hall

                        I see I misunderstood the nature of Calmare. I assumed this was another of the implantable stim devices. Your description is of a cutaneous electrostimulation. Do you happen to know how this differs from TENS? Is it the frequency of the stim, the amperage that passes the skin. Some new electrode pattern?

                        The article indicates the treatment is for peripheral neuropathy. Are you aware of any data advocating it for central neuropathic pain?

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                          #13
                          Dej, all

                          No data indicative of help for serious SCIs. my home town no one I know who tried it for more than what i consider minor pain, has had any success, try if you'd like but not hearing anything worth bothering. one fellow with a recurring by my standard minor ache got some relief. I'd like to see their clinical data, my docs put it below snake oil and they'll recommend trying virtually anyting to me based on my pain.
                          Kindly,

                          The Ketamine Kitty

                          All the tears, all the pain, all the rage through the night (apolgies to the rewrite) RR

                          Next time I die make sure I'm gone,
                          don't leave 'em nothing to work on JT

                          And I ain't nothin but a dream JM

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Calmare

                            My understanding of TENS is that it activates opioid receptors resulting in pain relief. I do not know how long this relief lasts. Calmare has taken the electrical signature of peripheral nerves that don't transmit pain and place that signature in through the skin nerves that transmit pain to the brain (C-fibers) so that the neurons in the pain center of the brain no longer recognize the pain impulses. Thus, TENS inputs electrical blocking signals and Calmare inputs specific nerve signatures that change the recognition of the normal pain signals transmitted by the pain nerve fibers. This therapy is so new in this country (FDA approval Feb 2010, published data in previous response) that data are still being collected for various conditions for peripheral neuropathies. Will it work on SCI-related pain? I don't know, and I would suggest consulting an expert in this. You can find an expert on the www.calmarett.com web site.
                            Originally posted by dejerine View Post
                            Bill Hall

                            "I see I misunderstood the nature of Calmare. I assumed this was another of the implantable stim devices. Your description is of a cutaneous electrostimulation. Do you happen to know how this differs from TENS? Is it the frequency of the stim, the amperage that passes the skin. Some new electrode pattern?

                            The article indicates the treatment is for peripheral neuropathy. Are you aware of any data advocating it for central neuropathic pain?
                            "

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Here is one. http://calmarett.com/media/pdf/JPSM%...20Sept2010.pdf

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