Hope for chronic pain sufferers
Chronic pain is a complicated problem that impacts all aspects of a person's life. Maybe that's why chronic pain sufferers have been willing to try all sorts of remedies — opioids included — to gain some relief.
But now there's a new, FDA-approved treatment available in Lake Oswego — called Scrambler Therapy (ST) — that is drug-free, side-effect-free and non-invasive. ST is offered by Radiant Relief Centres, which was founded by P. Brendon Lundberg and is overseen by Dr. David Farley, who has nearly 30 years of experience as a family physician with a practice in West Linn.
Farley serves as chief medical officer for Radiant Relief Centres, which has clinics in the Sylvan area of Portland and now in Lake Oswego. He supervises the clinical delivery of the therapy and coordinates the research carried out by the firm's Science Advisory Board, in cooperation with Professor Giuseppe Marineo of Bioengineering Research Center in Rome, Italy.
Marineo invented ST, which has been used extensively in Europe for more than 10 years. Lundberg, who owns the North American rights to the technology, recently released the book "Radiant Relief: A Case for A Better Solution to Chronic Pain" as a tool to explain the method.
"I believe that in order for us to fix this problem, we must begin by changing our thinking about it," Lundberg writes in the book. "To change how we think about chronic pain, we must step back, outside of the constraints of existing health care delivery, to look independently at the science and to re-examine that science without the pull and biases of current methodologies, economic incentives and educational and practice disciplines.
"In other words," he says, "we must look at the science independently and approach it in a way that will allow us to use it in crafting a better solution."
Lundberg explains that with chronic pain, the brain continues to perceive pain even after the initial tissue damage should have healed, or the pain grows disproportionately from the cause. The brain and nerves believe that pain is the new norm and continue to send unnecessary pain messages.
"So we retrain the brain," Lundberg says. "We attach electrodes to the skin, in proximity to but outside of the pain zone. The ST device acts like an 'artificial nerve' that relays information to the brain that is perceived as 'no pain.' The pain is typically reduced or eradicated within a few minutes. Most patients will have relief that lasts an hour or two after their first session."
Radiant Relief is based on the principle of neuroplasticity, meaning the brain is moldable and capable of learning new things by creating new neural pathways.
In 2014, Lundberg approached Farley and shared information about the trials being conducted on ST at the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Farley, who trained at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard University with biochemical research as his focus, recognized the value of the methodology, and the men set up their own trial using 25 of Farley's patients.
"The results were crazy!" Farley says. "Patients were experiencing immediate pain relief. I said to Brendon, 'We have a moral obligation to do this.'"
The most effective way for the brain to make a new pathway is through consistent repetition. For most patients, this means two to three weeks of consecutive treatments. The result is pain relief lasting 30 to 90 days, Lundberg says, depending on the extent of an underlying cause of the pain.
Lundberg says the pain relief can be longer or even indefinite, and that most patients need a periodic booster or two or three treatments to maintain the neuroplasticity and the pain relief.
Lundberg says patients come for treatments to the Lake Oswego and Sylvan clinics from all over the U.S. and Canada. All of the care managers are trained, Radiant ST Certified and follow exacting clinical protocols to affect the most positive patient outcomes, he says.
"Our approach to pain relief is unlike anything else on the market today," Lundberg says. "Combining state-of-the-art technology in a refined, patient-centric care model, we are able to produce substantial, lasting pain relief in a cost-effective, outcomes-based solution."
At this time, insurance does not cover Radiant Relief treatments, which cost about $10 a day. The first treatment is free.
"Nothing is 100 percent," Lundberg says. "But with the first treatment, we can usually tell if it will be valuable or not."
For more information about managing chrinic pain and to download free resources, visit RadiantReliefBook.com. To learn more about Radiant Relief Centres or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.radiantpainrelief.com or call 503-379-0790.
The Lake Oswego office is located at 121 C Ave.; the Sylvan office is located at 5440 Westgate Drive in Portland.