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Conquering Pain and Improving Outcomes With Microcurrent Stimulation

Conquering Pain and Improving Outcomes With Microcurrent Stimulation

By Nancy E. Allen, BSN, RNC,CMC, Paul A. Friedlin, CHT, OT, and Kim Decker, LMT

First Time Meeting Kim Decker

My name is Nancy Allen, BSN, RNC, CMC, and when I first saw Kim Decker, she was in so much pain it was difficult for her to comprehend what I was saying. I thought to myself, “She looks bad. My next thought was, “That is how I looked a few months ago.” My occupational therapist had asked me to come and speak to this new patient and tell her my story. 

My journey started when I fractured my humerus. For five months I was seen by an orthopedist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist from another orthopedic institute multiple times a week. Throughout this, I made little progress in conquering my pain. The pain ranged from a level 8 the majority of the time to a 10 when the nerve spasms coursed down my arm. The impact of pain and the uselessness of the arm and hand affected my quality of life in numerous ways. My score on the functional scale was zero for my left arm and hand. At my insistence, the physician ordered an MRI, nerve conduction test, and EMG. When the results were obtained the response was, “This does reflect what you have been saying” and radial nerve release surgery was recommended.

Picture of a humerus fracture

At this, I switched to Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute (JOI) where I met Dr. David Graham. He provided a steroid shot into my shoulder which was now severely frozen, my fingers were contracted in an open C position and there was no strength in my hand or ability to move my fingers to any degree. The many diagnoses included radial nerve palsy of the hand and suspected complex regional pain syndrome. Dr. Graham referred me to occupational therapy in Jacksonville Beach, Florida where I met Paul Friedlin, CHT, OT, who introduced me to Microcurrent Point Stimulation (MPS) and nerve release techniques. Never in my long nursing career had I heard of this! 

Kim's Symptoms

Kim’s story mirrored my own. The following is excerpted from her words, “I sustained a distal radius fracture to the right arm and experienced greater than normal swelling, burning, and throbbing pain in the wrist and hand. The hand was discolored with a blueish-black, corpse-like appearance, and the skin was taut and shiny. Many other changes appeared such as sensitivity to heat and cold, and the inability to tolerate anything touching this area. "

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Contractures and nodules appeared in the palm as the hand began to close into a C shape. Dark hair began to grow on the dorsal side of the hand and the anterior aspect of the forearm. Dr. Graham determined it may be a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Hand therapist treating a patient with Microcurrent Point Stimulation

Due to the immobilization, pain, damage from the injury, and CRPS the ability to move the shoulder became significantly diminished and painful over the 8 weeks of wearing a cast and using a sling. Virtually all ranges of motion of the shoulder whether active or passive became extraordinarily painful and increasingly immobile so, yet another component of rehabilitation had to be addressed. 

Microcurrent Point Stimulation

Dr. Graham referred me to, Paul Friedlin, an OT and Certified Hand Therapist at JOI who had much success with treating CRPS with a technology utilizing MPS. On my first visit, I essentially had no functional ability in my right arm scoring zero out of 80 on the Upper Extremity Functional Index Test. I was also taking 300mg of Gabapentin for nerve pain every 8 hours as the other typical prescription pain medications did not help in conquering the pain I felt.

After my initial assessment and evaluation, Paul began his treatment that day with the MPS unit starting with the Vagus Nerve Protocol. The microcurrent "talks" to the body's fascia and nervous system which decreases sympathetic nervous system firing thereby soliciting a full body healing response. Paul used the MPS unit in various areas treating nerve pathways and scars, to help "turn down" the volume on the 2 sympathetic nervous system firing. The treatment for me was fairly easily tolerated and I felt an overall sense of calmness and pain reduction during the session!

What is MPS?

The MPS Therapy Education website relates that MPS Therapy reduces nervous system stress to relax muscles and relieve pain. This natural but potent form of pain relief is now being applied in over 60,000 hospitals and pain clinics worldwide and over 10,000,000 patients are treated annually.

Dolphin Neuro-Stim

Imagine, pain relief without pain pills or other sedating drugs! For five months I was made to feel like a narcotic seeker. The previous Harvard and Mayo connected physician, nor the multiple physical therapists or occupational therapists had recognized or treated the nerve involvement! Paul related when he first saw me, he could hardly touch me because I was in so much pain. Dr. Graham later related he had doubts if I would regain full function. 

Testimonial of Microcurrent Point Stimulation

To further illustrate the dramatic results of this therapy, this is an interview with my friend Staff Sergeant Jerry Majetich. He served our country for 20 years in the military before being honorably discharged in 2007. While riding in a vehicle convoy, Staff Sergeant Majetich’s vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED), causing severe injuries. In the firefight that ensued, he was shot four times before being airlifted out for emergency care. He suffered burns on more than one-third of his body, including his face and scalp, the loss of his ears and nose, right hand and fingers on his left hand to amputation, the removal of part of his intestines and stomach, a fractured spine, fractured left foot, and bullet wounds in his right shoulder and right leg. He also suffers from PTSD and a TBI. Since his initial injuries occurred, he has undergone over 80 surgeries to date.

Use of an MPS on a patient

Use of an MPS on a patient's back

I shared with him the amazing results of conquering the pain and regaining function. Jerry was initially reluctant to try MPS as for 17 years he had been promised results and nothing worked to help decrease the pain. In his words after MPS, “his results speak for itself.” His surgeon who is very familiar with him wanted to know what he had been doing as the scars had softened. The largest impact was on the stump of his right arm where he was having more scar banding from burn contractures. It has remarkably improved with only a few uses of the MPS. The webbing on the arm from the scar band had softened it up and the scar became minimally visible. The surgeon was amazed, and it was one less surgery that needed to be completed. 

Staff Sergeant Jerry Majetich's Neuroma and Headaches

Jerry had a neuroma with extremely unbearable pain in his right shoulder. MPS reduced the pain, which released the immobilization of the arm before the neuroma was rerouted using targeted muscle reinnervation. This increased mobility. 

With continued MPS Jerry’s headaches have decreased. He feels the brain injury is better. His wife, who is a nurse, feels his speech patterns have improved. Jerry feels with the use of MPS and knowledgeable therapy many veterans could be helped, and many could avoid their dependence on narcotics and alcohol to relieve pain. 

JOI is Here to Help!

After seeing multiple patients young and old who experience drastic results in decreased pain and increased function from treatment by the JOI team, it demonstrates treatment that can objectively be measured to produce dramatic results and create positive outcomes in patient care as well as their quality of life. 

I thank God for a physician and therapists at JOI that are willing to challenge the traditional protocols of medicine and opinions to deliver dramatic results for their patients.

Conquer Pain and Improve your Outcomes with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with shorter phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if you prefer.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call (904) 858-7045.

Nancy E. Allen, BSN, RNC, CMC, is the Chief Executive Officer of Solutions for Care, Inc., and author of "Survivor! 10 Practical Steps to Survey Survival".

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