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Topic: Scrambler therapy- anyone try it?

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Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Feb 5, 2021 12:59PM

finallyoverit wrote:

Hi everyone! Had an appt with my MO today and he suggested I look into scrambler therapy as treatment for neuropathy.

Has anyone tried it? I confirmed with my insurance that they will cover, it just needs a pre auth.

Looking for stories.. did it help? How often do you need additional treatment? I read that it’s usually given every day for 10 sessions (so, 2 work weeks with a weekend break). If you did the initial 2 weeks, how long did the relief last before you had to return?

Thanks for any insight.

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Feb 5, 2021 01:25PM cowgal wrote:

I had never heard of this until you started this thread. Hopefully, others will come along that know more about it and can give you more information. I did find this interesting article on it: https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20...

If you decide to do it, please let us know what your experience is.

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Feb 5, 2021 01:39PM finallyoverit wrote:

Thank you for that article, cowgal. Interestingly enough, Dr Thomas Smith, who was mentioned in the article, is the doctor at John’s Hopkins that I was referred to.

I want to do a little more research, but I’m heavily leaning towards trying it. I don’t think it would hurt.. and who knows, maybe I’ll actually get some relief.

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Apr 8, 2021 12:52PM finallyoverit wrote:

ok.. checking back in. I had 5 sessions of scrambler therapy, and I honestly cannot believe the results. The therapy is better for targeting pain, but is also effective on numbness. I walked into my first treatment rating my numbness as a 7.. walked out after 5 treatments rating it as a 1.

I finally subconsciously balance on both legs now, rather than leaning towards my “good” side as I did before treatment. I’m also down 7 lbs, just because it’s not as difficult to walk.

Seriously a game changer for those of us who have suffered with chronic neuropathy.

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Apr 8, 2021 02:09PM Moissy wrote:

Finallyoverit - Thanks for posting your experience. I had read about scrambler when researching neuropathy, but had not seen any firsthand experiences. So glad to hear this has helped you. Please share any details - I would love to hear more.

Dx 2004, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2- Dx 2015, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 8, 2021 03:12PM finallyoverit wrote:

@Moissy


Sure thing! Happy to answer any question I can about it. The machine looked like an ekg machine.. flat with dials and 5 different wires that each had 2 electrodes attached. We talked about where my numbness is and he put one electrode on my leg and the other at the base of my spine. Did it for each “set” of electrodes.

Once both ends were attached, he would adjust the dial. It felt almost like a tens machine at the chiropractor. He did it for each of the electrodes. It didn’t hurt, just felt kinda weird.

When they were all attached, he would turn up the dial until I said “when”. It isn’t meant to hurt, it tickles a bit.

The first day was weird because I started to have more feeling in the leg than I had for the previous 4 years. By the second day, I really could feel a difference. That evening, I was standing at the sink and realized that I was putting equal weight on both legs, something I haven’t done in over 4 years. I just stood there and looked at my legs.

The doc told me that the numbness could come back and if it does, that he’ll bring me back in for a session or two. He said after the initial treatment, it doesn’t take much for the nerves to calm down and not register in my brain as “numb”, so it usually only takes 2 or 3 sessions for them to calm down again.

My doc did tell me that it works better for neuropathypain than for numbness, but both can see results from it. He added that if you respond to the first treatment, you will always be a responder. It’s more about telling the damaged nerves to pipe down and training the brain that all is well.

Happy to answer any questions, if I can. I’m definitely a believer.


Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Apr 8, 2021 04:34PM Moissy wrote:

Thanks, Finally. It’s so helpful to read your experience. I have numbness from taxane chemo. Did you have trouble getting insurance to cover? Also wondered if you went five days in a row? I’ve read that they do it on consecutive days at first? No provider in my area offers this, but I would consider traveling and staying with a friend to get close to a facility that offers if there’s a good chance it works.

Dx 2004, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2- Dx 2015, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 8, 2021 05:08PM - edited Apr 8, 2021 05:12PM by finallyoverit

No trouble getting insurance to pay, just needed a pre auth. You can search your payers website for their medical policy bulletin for coverage criteria.

Yes, it was 5 days in a row. The very first appt was about an hour (consultation and treatment) and then the subsequent appointments were on consecutive days and lasted about 45 minutes. A few min getting ready and 30 hooked to the machine.

I've read that if you are going to respond, you will know it by the 2nd treatment. And, according to my doc, the inventor of this therapy says “once a responder, always a responder." He did warn me that it could come back, but that usually a treatment or two will “remind my brain" that there is no pain. We are basically telling the damaged nerves to pipe down.. and telling my brain to listen to the “good, healthy" nerves that are saying there is no pain. My doc said “the brain is receiving interference (I.e. static) from the damaged nerves.. we need to train the brain not to listen to them but take info from the good, healthy nerves.

I say go for it.. if your insurance will cover, it's totally worth it, imho. It still amazes me when I realize that I'm not favoring that one side and I'm walking putting weight on both legs. My doc laughed at me because I kept saying “this is crazy!" After years of a 60%numb feeling in my leg, to being able to feel it, was simply amazing. I'm probably around 15% numb.. a huge difference in quality of life.

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Apr 8, 2021 06:06PM Moissy wrote:

So happy for you for such a good response. Thanks for taking time to report on all the details! I really appreciate it! Enjoy the feeling!

Dx 2004, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+, HER2- Dx 2015, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2021 08:33AM finallyoverit wrote:

@Moissy. Thank you! I’m definitely a believer in the therapy. I saw my MO yesterday and he’s thrilled with my response to it. I’m really open to anything like scrambler, even acupuncture or medical massage to lessen symptoms. I think we are worth it, especially after all the treatments, surgeries, mental stress, and meds we’ve been subjected to. If you have the opportunity to receive scrambler, I would definitely try it. It’s convinced me that it works.

Dx 10/2011, IDC, Stage IIA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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Apr 10, 2021 04:36PM aprilgirl1 wrote:

thank you for posting ! I don't have neuropathy but my father has terrible neuropathy from a recent surgery . I'll see if he can try this

recurrence in lymph nodes (superclavicle/mediastinal)"You can do it like it's a great weight on you, or you can do it like it's part of the dance." Ram Dass Dx 11/7/2008, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/13/2019, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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