Quell for Pain Management

October 20, 2017 • Sonya Huber

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I learned about the Quell device earlier this week through social media. It isn’t cheap at $250 but after I dove deeply into the online user comments, I decided I had to buy it. Why? Well, as you may have reason to know or not, when you’re in pain, you want to fix that pain.

FIRST, WHAT IS THIS THING?

It’s a little box that’s lighter than an iPhone but scored in the middle so it flexes. It fits into a pocket and gets snapped to sticky electrodes that go on your leg below the knee. Then the pocket-brace gets Velcro’d around your leg and off you go. It’s a version of a TENS unit but it is wearable and somehow sciencey-special. JUST GIVE IT TO ME!

Screen of Quell app on iPhone showing a clock face with time left in therapy session and also that I really need to charge my phone.

I can’t explain the science; if you scroll down here you’ll see a helpful video. Having watched way too many YouTube videos of professors explaining the latest research in pain, this all seemed reasonable. But I figured the comments would tell all so I started reading blogs and so on, as well as user comments on Amazon, where people generally spare no rage. And most of the comments were very positive.  So I thought, ok, it is a quarter of a thousand dollars, but on the other hand, pain.

I ordered it and it arrived two days ago. I have been wearing it ever since then. It comes with an app and connects via Bluetooth, so it tells you how much time you have left in a therapy session and how long to wait until the next one. You can wear it also while you sleep, and I have been.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?

It kind of almost feels like the leg that you’re wearing it on is a little asleep, which sounds annoying–but only if you aren’t in constant pain. You can adjust the strength of the therapy up and down so you don’t feel it as much. I’ve worn it while walking around running errands, walking the dog, walking on the treadmill, and for the most part I have forgotten it was there. The dog even got out this morning and I had to do a short sprint to catch her (ouch) and it didn’t come loose or impede my movements in any way.

 

This post has been edited for length. To read Sonya’s full review, please visit her personal site at https://sonyahuber.com/2016/03/10/quell-for-pain-management/.


About The Author
Sonya Huber
Sonya Huber

Sonya Huber is a writer with rheumatoid arthritis who lives in Connecticut. Her fifth book, Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System, explores life with chronic pain.


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  1. Gozani SN. Fixed-site high-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for treatment of chronic low back and lower extremity pain. J of Pain Research 2016;(9):469-479
  2. PAINWeek Abstract Book 2015, Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 127:sup1, S41.
  3.  AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain. American Academy of Pain Medicine website. http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx. Accessed July 11, 2016.