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Medical Breakthroughs: Scrambler therapy helping patients with chronic pain

Medical Breakthroughs: Scrambler therapy helping patients with chronic pain
2 weeks 12 hours 51 minutes ago Wednesday, May 15 2024 May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024 10:50 AM May 15, 2024 in News

Chronic pain is one of the most common health conditions, and it can lead to other health issues if you don't take care of it.

But now there's a new non-invasive therapy that's helping people.

Kelly Goodwin suffers from complex regional pain syndrome, triggered by a foot biopsy five years ago.

"I couldn't even put a sock on, the pain was so bad. The pain doctors had me on very, very high doses of morphine, methadone, fentanyl, and nothing really helped," Goodwin said.

Because the kind of pain she has is relentless.

"You've got these chronic pain signals going up your spine to your brain, to the pain centers on either side, and that redistributes the blood flow. So, these areas get too active," Professor of Palliative Medicine and Oncology Dr. Thomas Smith said.

This scrambler therapy administers stimulation through skin electrodes and scrambles pain signals.

"Do that often enough, and if you're a person who's responsive to scrambler therapy, and the brain will reset and that chronic pain can go away for days, weeks or months," Smith said.

Each treatment takes 30 to 45 minutes per day, and it constantly shifts signals, so the brain can't get used to it.

Best of all, it doesn't hurt.

"To me, it feels like I'm being bitten by little tiny electric ants," Smith said.

It does it all by fooling the brain.

"For the first time, I was able to put a shoe on in five and a half years," Goodwin said.

She has much more of an opportunity to spend precious time with her young son.

Chronic pain stems from pain impulses from damaged nerves and the failure of the inhibitory cells to block those pain signals.

Smith, who just authored a study on scrambler therapy, says it's like a hard reset of the brain's signals to eliminate the pain, like pressing control, alt, delete a thousand times.

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