Calmare Therapy


Does Calmare Pain Therapy Treatment Work for RSD?

After receiving your diagnosis of reflex sympathetic dystrophy and finding out that your pain would be chronic, your doctor may have discussed different treatment options for you. These might include medication, therapy (physical and talk) and the use of mild shocks to stimulate the nerves at the affected site. Depending on the area of your RSD, the nature and the severity of your injury, some treatments may work better than others. You want to be able to live your life with as few side effects from your pain as possible. If you are able to work, you’d like to avoid missed days because of pain. You would also like to enjoy time with your family, participating in various activities and having fun. A pain therapy treatment which was developed for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, might offer you the relief you need.

Calmare Explained

Calmare is a technological pain relief system invented to shut down the pain impulses that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy can develop. Chemotherapy drugs, because of their strength and ability to kill cancerous and non-cancerous cells, can cause the development of “chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy,” or CIPN. This syndrome can be resistant to pain medications and it can be long-lasting.

Calmare was developed by Professor Giuseppe Marineo, a bioengineer and researcher, who has worked to advance the treatment of pain. Marineo blended the principles of engineering and medical research in developing his new pain relief system. This system relies on the relief of drug-resistant pain, using a Scrambler Therapy system to interfere with the pain impulse. Because you don’t need to use potentially addictive pain medications, you can look forward to resuming a more-normal life.

Your doctor uses the Calmare system by placing electrodes on your skin, which send a signal to disrupt the pain signal. This no-pain signal overtakes the pain signal coming from your brain allowing you to feel relief from the RSD pain. (“Calmare” is Italian for “to soothe or ease.”)

Who Can Benefit

Individuals with reflex sympathetic dystrophy may benefit from this treatment. This system has given pain relief benefits to more than 80 percent of patients suffering from debilitating pain. Even better, you will not suffer from the side effects or potential for addiction to opioid medications.

Calmare has been successfully used in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, phantom limb pain, neck pain, sciatica, low back pain and post-surgical neuropathic pain. In addition, Calmare can help patients who have undergone unsuccessful surgery for back pain. This syndrome is called “failed back surgery syndrome.” Cancer patients suffering from chronic pain can also benefit as can those who have been diagnosed with brachial plexus neuropathy. Your doctor must completely evaluate your pain so he knows whether you are an appropriate candidate for this type of treatment system. Below is a list of precautions, please read them carefully:

  • Pain originating from the central nervous system may not respond to this system;
  • Tell your doctor if you are susceptible to skin irritation;
  • Be cautious of stimulation in your neck area, over your larynx – the muscle contractions can possibly close your airways or make breathing difficult;
  • Your doctor must verify whether your pain is definitely neuropathic in nature;
  • The strength of the electrical charge can cause cardiac arrhythmia if the electrodes are placed on your chest;
  • If you have an implanted pain stimulator, the electrical current in that area of your body might interfere with the ability of the pain stimulator to work properly;
  • Any other electronic monitoring equipment, such as an ECG, may not work right if the Calmare system is being used;
  • You are using a neuroleptic medication such as pregabalin, carbamazepine or gabapentin – these may cause the Calmare system to be less effective and decrease the time you are pain-free.

The following are indicators that can rule out the use of the Calmare system:

  • A latex allergy;
  • You have received an aneurysm clip, skull plates or vena cava clip;
  • You have an installed pacemaker or automatic defibrillator system;
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • Your body is not able to tolerate a transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation, or TENS treatment;
  • You have a documented history of brain damage, epilepsy or use of anti-convulsant medication for uses other than pain control;
  • You have a wound or skin irritation where the electrodes will be placed;
  • You have undergone a prior celiac plexus block or a neurolytic pain control system within the past four weeks;
  • You have a history of ischemic heart disease or myocardial infarction within the past six months;
  •  You suffer from a severe arrhythmia or an equivalent heart disease;
  • You are actively withdrawing from the use of alcohol or illicit drugs;
  •  You are using an implanted drug delivery system.

How Does Calmare Work?

Instead of using a biochemical (pain medications) approach, Calmare uses a biophysical treatment approach. Disposable surface electrodes placed on your skin send no-pain messages to the general region of your pain. These electrodes work by canceling the pain sensation you feel, using the same pathway that the pain signal uses. The intensity of your pain does not affect the ability of the Calmare system to break the pain signal. You can obtain immediate relief, but you will have to undergo follow up treatments for maximum pain relief. One advantage: You may be able to enjoy extended periods of no pain, but this does depend on the cause of your pain and its severity.

Conclusion The Calmare system is a non-invasive and painless treatment system that may help you obtain relief from your RSD. If you have no contraindications, you should feel no side effects from the treatments. If you are interested in this, check with your doctor to see if he feels you are an appropriate candidate.

Mara Gerke