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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Scrambler Therapy just a Standard TENS?

calmare-technology-2012“What is the difference between Calmare’s MC5-A technology and a TENS unit?”

This is one of the most common questions we are asked by patients and insurance carriers. Comparing Calmare® technology to TENS is like comparing a tricycle to a Harley Davison motorcycle but the question requires a detailed explanation. First, let’s compare the two devices:

Calmare® Pain Therapy’s MC5-A Technology

This technology creates a low energy electrical impulse that travels through the patient’s nerves delivering a “no-pain” signal to the brain. This process “tricks the brain” into believing the area is not in pain and results in prolonged pain relief.

Pain relief using Calmare® technology lasts significantly longer (often months or years) than a TENS unit, where the pain returns soon after discontinuation of the therapy.

Medical training is required to operate the device.  Our medical physicians have been extensively trained by the manufacturer’s clinical application team, have ongoing bi-annually training and have a regular re-certification process to ensure appropriate clinical application of this technology.

Presently, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, The Empire Plan and numerous other insurance carriers are paying for this treatment.

The doctor and the certified Calmare® technicians set up the patient with proper electrode placement at least 15 minutes prior to treatment. Treatment can last 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Calmare® Therapy is only administered by a medical professional who has specialized training. TENS units do not need medical supervision on set up or through the procedure.

TENS unit

This small, hand-held machine is self-administered, so the placement of the pads is determined, not by a medical professional, but at the best judgment of the patient or person administering the treatment at home. The machine has been designed with the goal of temporarily suspending pain.

The main challenge in treating neuropathic pain is the complicated change in the nervous system, which can be traced to changes in the receptors of the brain. As a result, therapy to resolve this kind of pain must reach the brain.

How does Scrambler Therapy change pain therapy?

Scrambler Therapy approaches pain therapy from a unique perspective.  Some types of chronic pain that were previously considered untreatable, now respond to Scrambler Therapy.  This therapy tends to be more realistic economically for many people, while producing superior results in many cases.  Speaking strictly from the experiences we have had through treatment; it is safe to say other older pain control therapies cannot reach this level of effectiveness.

Is it invasive, are there side-effects?

Scrambler Therapy is a non-invasive method for treating pain.  At this time, no negative or undesirable side effects have been recognized.  The treatment apparatus itself is very basic and uses disposable surface electrodes.

What are the expectations?

Results can vary depending on the type of pain being treated.  One treatment cycle may be enough to bring relief to the patient.  After the initial treatment cycle, further treatments should be administered whenever pain returns.

How will I know if this treatment works for me?

You will know if the treatment has been effective if you experience pain-reduction almost immediately.  During the procedure, pain is reduced very quickly.  In later treatments, duration of pain relief will increase incrementally after each treatment.

How long does the treatment last?

The treatment itself lasts for 30-45 minutes.  Add to this, the time needed to position and set up the electrodes.  The best scenario is to do one treatment each day for 5 consecutive days – essentially during a two week period.

What do you feel during stimulation?

During the treatment, you feel a very light pin-prick type of sensation.   When the treatment has concluded, the pin-prick feeling is replaced by a pleasant sensation.

How is the device used?

The Scrambler Therapy device is a stand-alone medical electro-analgesic device.  In other words, this therapy is not combined with other forms of treatment when administered.

Why the name Scrambler Therapy?

The term Scrambler Therapy is simply an accurate way to describe what happens when the therapy is applied.  The pain signals in the body are ‘scrambled’ and replaced with no-pain signals.

Written by Calmare Pain Relief Solutions August 21, 2013