August 2015, Teresa Shaffer and I shared our personal experience with a new device called “Quell”.  TPC members and online viewers continue to search our website about this topic wanting to know:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • How flexible could it be for those who need help blocking the ever-present pain messages traveling through our nervous system?

The take home message from us then and now is that, “interrupting pain signals can be an effective way of minimizing pain intensity”. This is just one of those methods.

Remember in the first blog “Quell, is it?” we spoke about how each of us who live with pain has different responses to pain relieving techniques, the contents in our pain toolbox will look different and we use our treatment options in different ways—multi-modality, individualized and “patient-centered”. So we are saying from the onset, that Quell, not unlike other pain strategies may work great for some, fair for some and not at all for others. This method may help improve comfort to allow more ease of movement and vitalize a focus toward wellness.

Restated from the previous blog, this device is manufactured by NeuroMetrix as a medication free, pain relieving device.  According to their website, this device is FDA cleared for the treatment of chronic pain which occurs during the day or night like low back pain, arthritic and joint pain, nerve pain, leg and foot pain, and widespread pain.“ It is lightweight and portable, attaches to leads that are secured by a comfortable elastic strap which allows it to be worn on the calf most affected by pain.  It has a rechargeable battery and a companion phone app that helps it run and monitor your treatment cycles, tracks your sleep duration, tells you when to take it off and allow your skin to breath as well as reminds you when the lead pads should be changed. Once you set it up to meet your desired sensation, you only need to turn it on after it is applied and the phone app does the rest. If you need to increase or decrease the sensation, it is easy to adjust.

Using this device may become a valuable pain relief option and can be partnered with other pain relieving techniques, like:

  • Alternating heat and cold therapies
  • Wearing insole supports to your work or casual shoes
  • Wearing supportive athletic shoes when walking or exercising
  • Stretching at the beginning and/or end of the day; while taking a warm bath or shower may be even more effective once those muscles are relaxed.
    • Examples for low back pain or sciatica, see piriformis stretches on YouTube:
    • Pacing daily activities
    • Taking pain medication (opioid and/or non-opioid based) as prescribed and ONLY as instructed for pain relief.

To maintain a positive patient-provider relationship be sure to speak with your healthcare provider if you wish to try this or if you have already started to use it. Talk with your insurance provider to see if they might cover the some or all of the cost. Quell does NOT require a prescription, yet for reimbursement, this may be requested. Like any other pain treatment option, Quell is not the magic bullet; it might become a surprising new addition to your pain relief toolbox.

Let us know your thoughts by adding your comments in our discussion forum about treatment options. Not a member? It’s so simple, just sign up to gain access; the cost is your time, not your money.

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