Monday, May 27, 2024

Health Headlines: Tricking the brain to feel less pain with Scrambler Therapy

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BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Chronic pain leads to fatigue, a weakened immune system and decreased mobility – worse yet, powerful narcotics are often prescribed for patients, leading to more problems. But now, there is hope with non-invasive Scrambler therapy.

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, like, morphine, methadone, fentanyl, and nothing really helped,” Kelly painfully recalls.

The kind of pain she had was relentless.

Thomas Smith, MD, Professor of Palliative Medicine & Oncology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center explains, “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.”

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,” Dr. Smith adds.

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 does not hurt.

Dr. Smith says, “To me, it feels like I’m being bitten by little tiny electric ants.”

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,” Kelly says.

And 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. Dr. 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.

Contributors to this news report include: Donna Parker, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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