As I’ve previously shared, I have dealt with rheumatoid arthritis for years. For the most part, it is under control. However, after having surgery last spring, I wasn’t allowed to take my main medication. My back pain, always present, got much worse. That’s why I was excited to try the Quell 2.0 Wearable Pain Relief System; I’ve become a fan.
Quell 2.0 Wearable Pain Relief Technology is:
A revolutionary, 100% drug free system, which uses prescription strength nerve stimulation to block chronic pain. Now even smarter, more powerful, and 50% smaller for all day comfort.
The system, which is FDA cleared for day/night use system allows you to address your pain without the need for drugs. When used with the Quell Relief App it delivers prescription strength neurotechnology that, according to a published study, results in 4 out five people seeing an improvement in chronic pain. More than that, the company notes that the more the Quell is used, the better the chance of pain relief.
Quell accomplishes this by sending:
neural pulses to the brain, triggering your body’s natural pain blockers to relieve chronic pain. And since everyone’s pain is unique, the Quell Relief app makes it easy to personalize therapy to your needs. After you calibrate Quell, you can start and stop therapy, adjust intensity, and track activity, sleep and pain from the app.
The Quell website offers a great deal of information regarding the technology used to deliver relief, the science behind it and the impact studies that show the product’s impact on pain reduction. Rather than merely repeating all of that information (which can be found here) I thought I would, instead, describe my experiencing using it for the past few weeks.
The system has four parts. There is Quell 2.0 device, the Quell electrodes, the leg band, and the Quell app.
Once charged, the Quell device fits into a small pocket in the leg band after it is properly situated in the band, the Quell electrodes and placed just below the knee.
The Quell device connects to the electrodes, and the leg band covers the entire electrode system and is secured in place. After firing up the app your phone or tablet connects to it and is ready to help relieve your pain. It might be hard to understand how this can make a difference but it does. As the company explains it, the Quell device stimulates sensory nerves. Those neural pulses then travel to the brain and trigger a response that, in turn, blocks the pain signals in the body. For many people, four out of five according to one study, the result is significant relief from chronic pain.
Powerful neurotechnology activates the power inside you to block chronic pain: Quell’s 100% drug free, clinically proven technology stimulates the sensory nerves in your calf sending neural pulses to your brain that trigger your body’s natural pain blockers.
It is worth noting that the Quell 2.0 is the second generation offering from the company. NeuroMetrix leveraged over 20 years of neurotechnology experience, research, and experience when developing the latest version of Quell. The result is a new device that is 50% smaller than before but is more powerful. They make a big deal out of the fact that “almost every aspect of the device and app has been redesigned for performance and comfort.
The app controls the Quell device and gives you a serious amount of control over the process. With it, you can adjust the intensity of the electronic pulses it delivers and choose whether or not to let the app automatically start sessions or, if you prefer, you can trigger a session “manually.” The company notes that they recommend using the device for at least three sessions a day for an entire month. As they put it, “The more you use Quell, the better the chance you have of experiencing pain relief.”
Control and Customization: The free Quell Relief app is the control center of this revolutionary chronic pain relief system and offers you unprecedented personalization and control of your therapy sessions. Calibrate Quell, start and stop therapy, adjust therapy intensity, and track activity, sleep and pain easily from the app. You can even choose from a variety of therapy settings and sleep modes, and your Quell can also remind you to increase the dose during weather conditions which may negatively affect your pain levels.
With the app you can:
- Calibrate your Quell to your precise needs, start and stop therapy sessions and adjust the intensity of therapy. Select from different stimulation patterns, therapy dosages, and sleep modes to find the ones that work best for you.
- Enable some Therapy Automation features that make using Quell more integrated into your lifestyle.
- Track weather changes that may impact pain and adjust therapy accordingly.
- Receive notifications with customized insights and helpful tips to keep you on track.
- Measure progress and review detailed insights into therapy, sleep, activity, and pain.
I appreciated the amount of control the app provides and am even more impressed with the feedback data it provides. I was especially impressed when the app let me know that the weather was expected to be bad, and it asked if I wanted to increase the intensity of the electronic pulses to help compensate for the potentially increased pain. (Fact is, anyone who doesn’t believe the weather can influence RA pain doesn’t have RA!)
It is worth noting that the Quell Relief app is necessary for the initial setup and calibration of the device but can if you prefer, be used to set the Quell device for use without the app if that is preferable.
In addition, Quell gives you access to the “Quell Health Cloud” so you can monitor your use of the device, gain insights and, if you choose, share information with researchers. As they explain:
By signing up for a Quell Health Cloud account, not only do you unlock unique features and back up your data so it’s never lost, you have an opportunity to be part of something bigger. Thanks to people like you, the Quell Health Cloud is already one of the largest pain databases in the world, with over 15 million hours of data. This data is fueling scientific research and Quell product improvements.
Among the information that becomes available once the Quell device and the Quell Health Cloud are used for a time include:
- Therapy Insights: A Quell therapy session is 60 minutes long. Pain relief usually often occurs within 15-30 minutes of the start of therapy and may last up to 1 hour after therapy ends. Quell tracks your therapy sessions and presents this information to you via the Quell Relief smartphone app.
- Sleep Insights: Quell measures and tracks how much sleep an individual getting and presents this information via the Quell Relief smartphone app. Quell also analyzes body movements and position while sleeping. This sleep data is meant to help optimize healthy sleep. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of sleep disorders or other related conditions.
- Activity Insights: Quell measures and tracks an individual’s activity level, while wearing the device, and presents this information via the Quell Relief smartphone app. Quell also analyzes ones’ gait. This activity and gait data is meant to help optimize health by increasing activity and identifying atypical gait. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of gait disorders or other medical conditions.
- Pain Insights: Chronic pain can decrease the quality of an individual’s life and adversely impact health. Tracking ones’ pain level and its impact on important aspects of life can help improve pain management by identifying patterns and triggers, and by improving communication with your doctor and other health care professionals.
They go on to make clear that, while they collect data that can not only aid in the individual’s pain relief but also helps support ongoing research, they are careful to protect individuals and their privacy by disconnecting login/registration information from data on usage, sleep, activity and pain. Also, they point out that the research is only done using aggregated data so any individual’s information cannot be directly connected back to that person.
My experience using the Quell 2.0 device has been mixed. That is, I suspect because during the time I have been using it for this review I have had some acute issues lower back pain that NOTHING was able to sufficiently address. That noted, I suspect that had I not been using the device my pain levels would have been even greater than they have been.
Setting up the Quell device and app was simple. Once the device was charged and turned on, the app walked me through both the pairing and the setup process. I then placed the electrodes on my leg, connected the device and secured the leg band over it. When the first “session” began, I immediately felt a tingling sensation around the part of my leg where the device and electrodes were positioned. It wasn’t unpleasant and, as someone who has used TENS units previously, it was largely familiar. I increased the strength of the signal as much as possible since the literature suggests using a setting which is as high as possible without being uncomfortable. The session lasted sixty minutes, and then the app turned their device off. After a period of “downtime”, the app triggered a second session. This continued until I decided that I had had enough for the day.
The company indicates that pain relief can occur within as little as fifteen minutes of beginning a session and can last for an hour after a session is completed. That means the positive impact of the device will continue until the next automatic session begins.
I did notice some relief using the band, but the pain was so acute at the time that it wasn’t nearly as significant as I had hoped. Now that I’m finally feeling better I’ll be trying the Quell 2.0 again and, this time, I expect I’ll be more conscious of its positive impact.
Finally, it is important to note that the electrodes only last for two weeks. After about a week and a half, I started seeing some deterioration of the jelly-like material that allows the electrodes to adhere to your leg. As a result, it quickly became clear that the instructions to replace the electrodes every two weeks was based on experience. The kit came with two electrode bands and is, therefore, good for a month of initial use. But, and this is important, replacement bands can get pricey. A single replacement is over $26 while purchasing them four at a time brings them down to $19.99 each.
The Quell 2.0 is an interesting idea for those of us who have chronic pain. It requires no medication and is small enough that, so long as you are wearing long pants or a skirt, it is invisible to others. A study shows that four out of five people report improvement when using the device, so it is worth a try. And, since the Quell 2.0 comes with a sixty-day money back guarantee, there’s no risk. Get one, try it and, if you aren’t one of the people for whom this device offers relief, simply return it for a refund. Any of us who deal with chronic pain know that the time and effort of purchasing and trying the device is a small price to pay for possible relief. Check it out and order yours here on the company site.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Quell 2.0
What I Like: Easy to set up and use; App provides a range of important data; Unobtrusive; Battery last multiple sessions before the device needs to be recharged
What Needs Improvement: Works for many but not all people; Electrodes last two weeks but then need to be replaced. This can get pricey