Can There be Too Much of a Good Thing?

December 14, 2018 • Frank McGillin

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We get a lot of questions from Quell users about potential overuse such as: “Will my body develop a tolerance to Quell?” “Will Quell become less effective if I use it too frequently?”  or even, “Can I become addicted to Quell?”

Relax, Quell is designed to be used whenever you experience pain, even if you need to wear it 24 hours a day. While it is true that nerves can tune out constant stimulation over time, the engineers and scientists who developed Quell applied their knowledge of physiology and the central nervous system to minimize that effect. Some of the key approaches include:

  • Calibration: The process that sets the optimized stimulation for you. Calibration ensures you are getting the right “intensity.”  Not too little or too much.
  • Randomization: The stimulation pattern generated by Quell is randomized around 80Hz.  Randomly varying the frequency makes it harder for the brain to tune out the stimulation.
  • Ramping: The Quell device gradually increases stimulation levels throughout the therapy session. If you’ve activated the Intensity Display option on the Quell app, you will see the number slowly increase.  While this increase is not perceptible, it ensures that stimulation remains at a therapeutic level.
  • Automatic On/Off Cycle: Normal therapy with Quell stimulates for one hour, pauses for an hour, and then automatically restarts. Research suggests that this allows for the maximum production of endogenous opioids, which are your body’s natural pain blockers.  Production of these substances tapers off after about 1 hour of continuous nerve stimulation.  The one-hour rest period helps the body “reset.”

So, if you feel pain all day, you can confidently use Quell all day. If you feel pain overnight, no worries, you can wear it while sleeping.  You can even use Quell 24/7. The only thing to keep in mind is airing out your skin every 4-5 hours during the day, or after you wake up in the morning.

Over time you may find that you need to recalibrate to a higher level, but unlike pain medications, there are no side effects associated with increased dosage.

If you have questions about optimizing Quell dosage, or anything else, call us at 1-800-204-6577 or send an email to

About The Author
Frank McGillin
Frank McGillin

Frank is Chief Commercial Officer NeuroMetrix where he is leading the development of a class of wearables with the launch of Quell® Wearable Pain Relief Technology™, an FDA-cleared 100% drug-free alternative for managing chronic pain. Quell was one of four health and fitness finalist for the Best of CES award and winner of the 2016 SXSW Innovation Award for Wearable Technology. After a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in 2015, Quell is now available online and through retailers including Amazon.

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