Scrambler Therapy Treats Neuropathic and Chronic Low Back and Leg Pain

Neuropathic pain is a complex type of chronic back and/or leg pain (eg, sciatica) usually caused by nerve injury. When a nerve is damaged it may not be able to transmit messages completely or correctly between the injury site and the brain. Neuropathic pain is persistent and is sometimes described as unrelenting, although the intensity and characteristics (eg, dull, sharp, shock-like) of pain may change throughout the day and night.

Scrambler Technology for Neuropathic Pain
Scrambler technology (Calmare® Pain Therapy Treatment) is a non-invasive therapy that treats neuropathic and chronic pain by surface electro-stimulation. Electrode patches are precisely placed on the appropriate skin area, but not directly on the painful area. Rather, the electrode patches are placed on one or more dermatomes. A dermatome is an area of skin served by the fibers of a single spinal nerve root. The dermatomes map the front and back of the body as shown below.

Precise Biophysical Electro-Stimulation
Each electrode patch is connected to the scrambler device by a thin cable. The clinician controls the administration of low doses of electro-stimulation delivered through the patches. The therapy scrambles the pain messages transmitted between the pain site and the brain.

Placement of electrode patches on a patient's low back

Typically, treatment consists of a series of 10 daily treatments that last 30- to 45-minutes. Patients with neuropathic and chronic back pain are as unique as their pain. Therefore, some patients may benefit by more than 10 treatments and/or may periodically return for individual therapy.

Some patients report pain relief as early as the first therapy session. However, many patients experience less pain after several scrambler treatments. As the number of treatments increase, the duration of pain relief may be sustained for a longer period of time. Patients who have experienced chronic pain for a shorter amount of time will generally experience faster results.

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Updated on: 03/24/16
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