Calmare Therapy Near Me 2023: What Is It & How It Works?

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Reviewed by Brittany, F., PhD

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calmare therapy near me

Millions of people around the world struggle with chronic pain in their life. The etiologies differ–some are from trauma, some are related to underlying disease–and patients and providers have tried all sorts of remedies, ranging from surgery to prescription medications to physical therapy. Unfortunately, many patients have not found relief, and have turned to other means of pain management. One of them is calmare therapy.

What Is Calmare Therapy?

Calmare therapy, also known as scramble therapy, is a relatively new technique for managing chronic pain. It’s a drug free, non-invasive pain treatment. Similar to electrical muscle stimulation, it involves using electrical pads on the body to help with chronic pain. The theory is that by giving your brain more stimulation in the afflicted area, the treatment will override chronic pain signals.

calmare therapy near me

How Does Calmare Work?

As mentioned, calmare therapy (also called scrambler therapy)  is a non invasive, drug free option for managing chronic pain. It is FDA approved, and available at several treatment facilities. Essentially, you’ll be sitting in a chair and connected to a machine with electrical pads; if you’ve ever had an ECG done before, it’s quite similar. 

The electrical pads run a small current through the region of chronic pain. The exact mechanism of the chronic pain treatment is not known, but it’s believed that the electric current blocks pain signals to the brain. It might also “reset” the muscle, or in the case of chronic neuropathic pain, the nerve responsible for causing the chronic pain. 

It’s important to note that calmare pain therapy is a very new pain management option–there is only a small amount of research available about it. Still, the research that exists does seem to show positive results, especially when compared to a placebo treatment. And it does have the advantage of being drug free and non-invasive.

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Who Benefits From Calmare Therapy?

There are multiple types and causes of chronic pain. Sometimes pain can be related to trauma, such as broken bones and accidents, especially if the wound involves a nerve or is not treated properly. Other causes of chronic pain may involve cancer or other diseases affecting structures in the body.

Chronic nerve pain is a different pain altogether; it’s a problem with the nerve itself, causing it to send pain signals to the brain without there being an injury. This chronic nerve pain is sometimes referred to as neuropathic pain, or peripheral neuropathy. It can be induced by chemotherapy drugs for cancer, injury, drug use, or aging. This type of chronic pain is very difficult to treat, and is very hard to manage with surgery or drugs. 

Many types of pain seem to benefit from calmare pain therapy, including cancer-related pain, chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathy, and back and leg pain. Calmare pain therapy is a new treatment, so there isn’t a standardized approach yet to it, but treatment appears to last about thirty minutes per session, with sessions daily for a few weeks.

Are There Clinical Trials In Calmare Therapy?

Yes. Several smaller scale clinical trials have been done to date. The data from them was enough to convince the FDA to approve calmare pain therapy for the market. Larger-scale trials are underway to better understand the mechanism of how it can lessen pain, what types of chronic nerve pain it can treat, evaluate its effectiveness in children (most trials were done on adults), and better standardize the therapy treatment. 

Should I Get Scrambler Therapy?

calmare therapy near me

Again, there are so many causes of pain, and everyone’s tolerance for pain is different. Scrambler therapy appears to be a useful pain treatment, especially with the advantage of being drug free and non-invasive. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic pain or neuropathy, it can be a good idea to bring up to your doctor for their opinion.

Calmare Therapy Near Me

Since calmare therapy is a relatively new form of pain management, it might not be widely available unless you live nearby a major medical center or pain management clinic. We recommend doing some research, and potentially asking your doctor if they’ve heard of it for pain management. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Scrambler therapy can be done at an outpatient center or pain clinic. The owners of the treatment machines (often a doctor) set their own prices for sessions. Prices differ by clinic and location, but generally cost a few hundred per session. They may or may not be covered by insurance, since scrambler therapy is a fairly new option for chronic pain, and its benefits and ability to lessen pain are not clear now.

Where Can I Get It?

Again, scrambler therapy is a new treatment option for patients with nerve pain, and its benefits and ability to lessen pain are not appreciated by very many. Your best option is a larger medical center or pain management clinic that specializes in neuropathic pain treatment. 

Conclusion

Scrambler therapy is a newcomer to the pain management field, particularly neuropathic pain treatment. It’s non invasive, drug free, and the treatment has no known side effects in patients. Research shows it appears to lessen pain, and sometimes treat it. If chronic pain has been a debilitating problem in your life, especially a chronic neuropathic pain, calmare (or scrambler therapy) could be of potential help. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does calmare/scrambler therapy feel like?

The therapy treatment involves a mild electric current. Most patients undergoing scrambler therapy report a mild prickling or tingling sensation. If it becomes uncomfortable, immediately tell the nurse or doctor, and they’ll terminate the treatment. 

Is scrambler therapy given with drugs?

Scrambler therapy itself is drug free. It takes place on the skin and is entirely non invasive to patients. However, some pain doctors may also prescribe scrambler therapy with prescription painkillers or physical therapy. Ask them what their typical regimen is for patients.

What is chronic neuropathic pain?

Most pain is caused by damage to the body–injury, chemical, disease, etc. This damage is detected by nerves, and sent to your brain as pain. In patients with chronic neuropathic pain, the pain is caused by the nerve itself misfiring. It’s more difficult to correct; chronic neuropathic pain may not resolve with drugs or surgery. 
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+ 4 sources

MIDSS has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes and medical associations. We work primarily with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accuracy. We avoid using tertiary references. For more information on how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content, please see our editorial policy.

  1. Musc.edu. (2023). Scrambler Therapy. [online] Available at: https://hollingscancercenter.musc.edu/patient-care/patient-resources/scrambler-therapy [Accessed 11 Jan. 2023].
  2. Healio.com. (2016). Mayo Clinic researchers test scrambler therapy for pain. [online] Available at: https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20160106/mayo-clinic-researchers-test-scrambler-therapy-for-pain [Accessed 11 Jan. 2023].
  3. Min, Y.G., Baek, H.S., Lee, K.-M. and Hong, Y.-H. (2021). Differential response to scrambler therapy by neuropathic pain phenotypes. Scientific Reports, [online] 11(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-021-89667-6.
  4. Majithia, N., Smith, T.J., Coyne, P.J., Abdi, S., Pachman, D.R., Lachance, D., Shelerud, R., Cheville, A., Basford, J.R., Farley, D., O’Neill, C., Ruddy, K.J., Sparadeo, F., Beutler, A. and Loprinzi, C.L. (2016). Scrambler Therapy for the management of chronic pain. Supportive Care in Cancer, [online] 24(6), pp.2807–2814. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3177-3.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Conor, P., MD
Medical Student
Conor is a 2nd-year medical student with a strong interest in creative writing, copywriting, and business. He is passionate about scientific and medical literacy, as well as innovating in the field of medical technology. In addition to becoming a doctor, one of his great goals is to write a novel that becomes adapted into a movie.

ABOUT MEDICAL REVIEWER

Brittany, F., PhD
Occupational Therapist, Medical Reviewer
Brittany is the owner of a writing and consulting company called Simplicity of Health. She has written over 350 pieces of patient-facing content, published 4 books, created over 30 continuing education courses, and medically reviewed countless pieces of content for accuracy. Her media appearances include being quoted as a health expert in WebMD, Healthline, NBCNews, and Forbes.