Quell, Is It?
Last August 2014, I wrote, The TENS Effect, which was about the use of TENS units as it seemed like TPC members and online viewers had questions about what it is, how it worked and how it can be versatile to help disrupt the pain messages as they attempt to travel through the nervous system. The take home message was, “interrupting pain signals can be an effective way of minimizing pain intensity for some of us.”
Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology
Little did I know that this spring of 2015, Teresa and I would be invited to test out a new, “TENS-like” nerve stimulation device called Quell. In the spirit of sharing What’s New in pain relief options, we thought you would like to hear about this option and our experience. I believe it illustrates how pain relief differs from person to person, no matter the option used and no matter in what combination. Each of us who lives with pain has different responses, the contents in our pain toolbox looks different and we use our treatment options in different ways—multi-modality, individualized and “patient-centered.” So we are saying from the onset, that this device may work great for some, fair for some and not at all for others.
First of all, let me explain the device. It is manufactured by NeuroMetrix. Quell is a medication free, pain relief device. According to their website, “Quell intensive nerve stimulation (WINS) technology has proven to fight pain; it is FDA approved for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain due to painful diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis among other conditions during the day or night.“
It is 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. It is portable, as the light weight device tucks into the pocket of a Velcro strap that you wear just below your knee and snaps into the lead pads. 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.
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