**I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the Quell device was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.**
(Note: The links in this post may be affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.)
If you look up the word quell in the dictionary you’ll find it means “to put an end to, typically by the use of force.” When you’re talking about life with chronic pain the word quell sounds like a life changer!
In April I received a package in the mail. It was for a new campaign I had volunteered to take part in through the Chronic Bloggers Network. It happened to come at a good time. I had recently decided to cut in half the amount of meds (gabapentin) I take for my fibromyalgia. The side effects I deal with had just worn on me to the point where I was literally choosing increased pain over the side effects, and increased pain is exactly what I got.
I decided to start wearing the device for at least six hours a day and see how it affected my increasing pain.
How does it work?
The Quell unit is a small, thin black device that slides into a black leg band they provide. It’s comfortable to wear and fits under my jeans so I had no problem just leaving it on for the most part of my day.
It works by stimulating sensory nerves in your calf that carry pulses to your brain and central nervous system. Together they trigger your natural pain relief system that blocks the pain.
When I turned it on for the first time I was a bit concerned it might hurt. After all, it’s advanced neurotechnology that’s being delivered by way of electrodes wrapped around my leg. I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was that it starts out at such a low intensity it’s barely noticeable. Once you do the initial calibration, they recommend you let it run for two minutes before you customize the intensity. I played around with the power until it was very slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. The best way I can find to describe it is that it feels a bit like when you’re foot is asleep and you tap it on the ground – a slight tingle but not painful. This setting seemed to work well and by the time the first hour-long session ended I could tell my pain had decreased some. That’s right, Ms. Cynical was thinking this just might be a product that would work!
As I’ve tested the device over the past two months I noticed that on days where my pain is higher I can increase the intensity of the therapy session and it, in turn, increases the amount of pain it controls.
TMI warning here! The day before and first day of my periods are usually very high pain days for me. I guess my body thinks it’s giving me a heads up and needs to alert me of my hormonal cycling. Over the past year the pain during these days has been getting worse. So I decided, what better time to put the Quell to the test?! It made a huge difference. It decreased my overall pain and even decreased the intensity of my menstrual cramps. Not sure the company wants to be the poster child for period relief, but it made such a huge difference for me I thought I needed to mention it. 🙂
There’s a very convenient, free app you can download for your Android or Ios smartphone. From this app you’re able to turn the device on and off, increase or decrease the intensity as well as watch a series of tutorial type videos that will answer about any question you might have. The unit works fine without the app and the videos can be found on youtube, but it does make using the device very simple.
The best part of the device is that you have the power to control the intensity of the therapy sessions. If your pain is higher one day, you can simply increase the intensity for better pain relief.
I haven’t used the device while sleeping yet but it is safe to wear while in bed and also has three settings just for sleep.
- Bedtime only – therapy cycle only last while falling asleep and turns itself off once you’re sleeping
- Gentle overnight – therapy sessions continue through the night but at a lower intensity than your daytime setting
- Full power – sessions will continue through the night at the same intensity you have it set for during the day
The Quell device is not just for fibromyalgia!
The neurotechnology works with multiple diseases and conditions that result in life with chronic pain. If you CLICK HERE to their youtube channel you’ll see a few testimonials from a variety of people with differing causes to their chronic pain.
The only negative I have is that the device isn’t covered by insurance and I know the price tag will mean some of you aren’t able to try this as an option for your pain. I would love for more varying means of controlling pain to be covered the same way they’ll cover narcotics. I want to see people be able to pursue numerous options for pain relief – medical, supplemental, lifestyle, and devices like this.
Want to learn more?
Jump over to the QUELL website for more information!
A friend of mine, Donna from Fed Up With Fatigue, posted about this device on her blog as well. She conducted an interview with the Marketing Manager for Quell and it covers quite a bit. If you’d like more information you can CLICK HERE to read her post.
For any of you would like to dig deeper into the technology and medical science behind the Quell device, you can CLICK HERE to read a 12-page white paper written by Shai N. Gozani, M.D., Ph.D. It should answer any of the more technical/medical questions you might have!