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O, The Oprah Magazine 03/16/2016

3 Gadgets To Ease Joint Pain

We road-tested three new high-tech devices that promise anytime relief.

Quell Wearable Pain Relief

$250

Who It’s For: Those who suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic nerve, musculoskeletal, or joint pain.

How it Works: Though the device fastens onto your upper calf, it short-circuits pain anywhere in the body. The electrode stimulates sensory nerve clusters in your calf, and those nerves carry pulses to your brain, triggering a series of neurotransmitter responses that block pain. Quell can automatically deliver hour-long therapy sessions every other hour, and you can adjust the program or the intensity using an accompanying app.
What Our Testers Thought: “I run about 40 miles per week and tend to have pain in my knees when I walk. Some days it’s so bad, I develop a little limp. I wore the device for an hour each night, right before bed, since the cuff and electrode were too bulky to wear under pants or tights. It stayed on while I walked around my apartment. I was surprised by how quickly it worked: The uncomfortable pressure I usually experience stopped after about three sessions.” —Candy, 31

Acupuncture

What it is: A form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves having needles inserted at various points on the body to help rebalance the flow of your body’s energy.

Science says: When nearly 18,000 adults with back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches, or shoulder pain received acupuncture treatments, their pain scores were reduced by about 50 percent, according to a review in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Although researchers don’t know exactly why acupuncture has such a profound effect, one possible explanation is that it releases feel-good endorphins that dampen the pain response.

Best for: Neck, lower back, and shoulder pain; osteoarthritis and knee pain; chronic headaches.

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