I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
I’ve been in pain for a long time, 6 years to be exact. It’s been a long journey and I’ve struggled finding the right way to treat my pain. For many years I disdained pain killers and tried to tough my way through it using meditation and yoga. Unfortunately these options didn’t work for me and I eventually gave in and started taking the occasion pain killer, though I’ve always wanted to have other options. Pain killers make feel feel groggy while not letting me sleep, they cause me to itch, and they are really difficult to get even in the small doses that I use them. So I was excited to get a chance to try Quell Relief (affiliate link), a wearable pain relief device.
Quell is a new type of technology, wearable intensive nerve stimulation. It is drug free and approved for 24/7 use. It can be worn night and day to help with pain. Quell is designed to be worn just below the knee and tap into your body’s pain control system to block pain signals. You do not have to have the device in the area of the body that experiences pain. If you are interested learning more about the science of Quell you can watch a video here.
When you receive your Quell package it comes with the following items: device, battery charger, and two electrodes. The device has a lithium ion rechargeable battery with a life of about 30-40 hours of therapy. It also has the ability to connect with your smartphone, allowing you to control therapy and monitor sleep and therapy trends from your phone if you choose to do so.
To start using a Quell device you first insert the device into the band pouch. Then you attach the electrode and place the device on your calf. You customize your therapy by calibrating the device to your specific needs. Then Quell delivers pain therapy every other hour. It is recommended that you wear the Quell for at least 4-6 hours a day. The therapy isn’t uncomfortable, it just feels like a little vibration on your leg.
I started using my Quell device in April, and have continued to use it every day since then. The device felt a little awkward on my calf at first, but I quickly got used to it being there. I will admit to at first being very skeptical to how this device would affect my pain levels, it seemed too easy. However, within in a day I noticed my pain levels had significantly decreased. I wondered if it was just luck, but for the next several weeks my pain levels stayed very low. I generally take a few pain killers a week, but I went an entire month without taking anything. After a few weeks my electrodes wore out and so I started wearing my Quell less, and consequently I noticed my pain levels started to ramp up again. As soon as I started wearing the device more, my pain levels decreased. However, it worked best for my leg pain which is probably what hurts the most for me, but it didn’t seem to make much of a dent in my back pain.
During my first month of trial with the Quell I had only one problem with the device and it was self inflicted. Somehow it was re-calibrated and the therapy was so strong it was painful. I could not figure out how to fix the problem so I called customer service. The problem was that I wasn’t putting my leg flat on the floor when it was calibrating. Customer service walked me through how to do it, and the problem was fixed in about 5 minutes. Quell customer service gets an A+ from me.
Though I loved the device, I do have some concerns. First, the electrodes required to run the device are supposed to last two weeks, and mine barely made it one. As you can see the gel is peeling back and pieces were falling off after one week of use.
This is a concern because replacing the electrodes is expensive, they cost $15 each. However, I loved the device so much I decided it was worth ordering more electrodes and I have continued using it. My second concern in the velcro band containing the device. After two months of use the velcro no longer holds and the device won’t stay on my leg. Quell sells replacement bands, but not surprisingly they are $25 each. I rigged mine with some other velcro, but it has been a big pain to deal with.
Overall I love the Quell and highly recommend it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I feel Quell is potentially life changing, if you can afford the cost. At $249 for the starter kit (affiliate link) the Quell does not come cheap, and there are monthly costs in addition to that. Still, while it also won’t cure your pain you could see a significant drop in your pain levels. If you are concerned that it won’t work for you Quell does have a 60 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty.
I’ve now worn my Quell device for quite some time and it’s still my favorite pain relief device. I wear it every day so the electrodes to wear our quickly and have to be replaced every month at the cost of $30. Additionally, the velcro on the band has not worked beyond the first couple months, so I’ve been forced to replace it at an additional cost of $25. The band will probably need to be replaced regularly. As a result the operating costs of Quell continue to go up, but I pay them because it really does help my pain level.