Review of the Quell - Wearable Pain Relief

Quell. Quell

Wearable Pain Relief?

If you've ever lived with chronic pain, you've probably tried just about everything - Pills, creams, massages, injections, physical therapy, sobbing uncontrollably, vodka, hot baths or even one of those TENS units - A small, portable device with electrodes that attach to your body and send mild electrical impulses that block pain signals to the brain.

What you may not have thought of was putting something around your calf to ease your pain.

Luckily, someone else thought of that in this ingeniously small package called the Quell.

The Quell

So, what exactly is the Quell? At its heart, it's a way to ease pain from conditions like fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, and osteoarthritis. More precisely, it's a small, square device that sits in a velcro pocket with an electrode snapped inside. It's this electrode strip that, like a TENS unit, sends electrical signals that "stimulate dense nerve clusters triggering endogenous pain relief mechanisms in the body."

The idea is that you slip the Quell into the (breathable) sports band, wrap it around your upper calf and then calibrate the system so that it gives you as much stimulation as your body needs. It automatically works for an hour and then shuts off for an hour and it even senses when you're sleeping.

It's designed to be worn 24 hours a day, easily fits under your clothes and it also works with a free app to track your therapy and sleep history.

In fact, they explain it better than I do:

"Quell’s OptiTherapy™ calibrates to your optimal stimulation level ensuring you receive maximum relief. It knows what level of stimulation to deliver during the day and adjusts to the appropriate level at night. It senses when you are lying down and automatically switches to night therapy to ensure a restful sleep."

So How Does it Work?

That was my major question - Putting a portable pain device around my calf to help my back pain? Well, I took a look at the Quell Mechanism of Action page that explains it in very scientific/medical terms and I have a very, very dumbed down version of it - any mistakes in interpretation here are totally mine:

  1. As I mentioned above, the Quell stimulates nerves in the calf which activate your pain inhibition systems in the brain.
  2. The high-frequency nerve stimulation triggers a cascade of neurotransmitters to start working.
  3. This causes pain relieving opioids (kind of like in pain meds) to be released, which stops the pain signal from spreading.
  4. These opioids work better than prescription meds.

What I Like About the Quell

  • It works  - I was having some sciatic pain when I used the Quell and I did get relief. It does take time and you have to use it regularly, but it's pretty amazing how it works. Actually, even after reading all the material, I don't know how it works, but it does. That isn't to say it works on everything, but it did work for me
  • It's really cool - It just is
  • It's comfortable - It was weird walking around with it and it took some time getting used to, but it is very lightweight and it doesn't take long before you don't even realize it's there
  • It's easy to calibrate - You can change the settings at any time if it feels like too much or not enough
  • It's easy to use - Unlike TENS units, where you have to futz around with the leads and wires and all of that, the Quell has one giant electrode that wraps around your calf in one easy movement
  • It works automatically, so you don't have to think about it
  • I like the App - Again, easy to use and you can track you sleep patterns and how your pain therapy is going

What I Don't Like About the Quell

The Quell is actually very cool and much easier to use than a typical TENS units. I only see one real drawback to the Quell and that is the price, $249, which may make some people wince. You also have to change the electrodes every few weeks, so that's an extra cost of $29-$89 ($89 is for a 3-monthe supply). They do send you extras when you order the product.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I think the Quell has a lot of potential. As they say on the website, the people who will get the most out of this are people who have sciatica pain, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, and osteoarthritis. If you've tried everything and you're still in pain, I would definitely recommend trying the Quell and they have a 60-day money back guarantee if it doesn't work for you. Very impressive technology and a welcome addition to new ways to deal with pain without taking meds.

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