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A “Toolbox” Approach to Chronic Pain Treatment

08/18/2017 • Shai Gozani M.D., Ph.D.

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For the one-third of Americans living with chronic pain, managing that pain can feel overwhelming at times. While simply taking a pill may help to minimize the physical effects of pain, it may not be enough to allow those living with pain to improve their overall quality of life. This is why we favor a “toolbox” approach to chronic pain management — one that doesn’t rely on a single treatment modality, but encourages those living with chronic pain to explore a variety of therapies to find relief.

To grasp this approach, it’s important to understand that chronic pain is a complex biopsychosocial condition, which involves the interplay of biological, psychological and social factors. This means that chronic pain is uniquely personal and affects each person differently. For some, the primary issue is the direct experience of pain or the pain intensity; while for others, the impact of pain is felt through the deterioration of aspects of their quality of life – including sleep, activity, mood and general health.

Given that chronic pain is such an individual experience, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treating it – often in the form of prescription pain medications – is destined to fail because it does not address the unique and complex profile of the individual. Instead, treatment methods need to be personalized. This requires looking beyond prescription medication as the go-to treatment, and exploring a variety of solutions that can deliver needed relief and improve the overall quality of life for those with chronic pain — allowing them to do things like pick up their children, get a good night’s rest and go for a walk without experiencing debilitating pain.

The “toolbox” approach is just that. It encourages those living with pain to consider a combination of therapies – from acupuncture and topical treatments, to physical therapy and meditation, and neurotechnology wearables (like Quell). Those living with chronic pain should try a variety of these treatments to find the right mix that allows them to maximize their relief. This isn’t to say that pharmacological treatments don’t have a place in the toolbox, because they provide much-needed relief for many, but you need more than one tool in your toolbox.  We believe that the addition of drug free neurostimulation devices like Quell to the toolkit will significantly improve quality of life for people living with chronic pain.

We are passionate about helping people reclaim their lives by innovating new, drug-free treatment methods for chronic pain, and educating those living with pain, their caretakers and clinicians about technological alternatives for pain relief. Ultimately, we want to better equip people to conquer their pain, find maximum pain relief and reclaim their lives.

About The Author
Shai Gozani M.D., Ph.D.
Shai Gozani M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gozani is an expert in non-invasive neurostimulation. He received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology. Dr. Gozani earned his Ph.D. in Neurobiology, M.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Following his studies, Dr. Gozani conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School and MIT. He holds 36 U.S. patents and has authored over 30 articles in scientific and clinical peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Gozani is founder, president and CEO of NeuroMetrix, Inc.; which designs and manufactures Quell.

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