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.
PainKare is a FDA approved device aiming to use microcurrent biostimulation to promote self-healing at the source of pain by effectively healing the source rather than simply blocking pain signals. Microcurrent biostimulation uses extremely low bioelectrical waveforms over an area of pain to boost ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), protein synthesis, and cellular membrane transport.
PainKARE looks somewhat like a TENS device, but it’s different in that its goal is to induce self healing to impaired muscle, nerve, and tissue to stop the pain. TENS devices are designed to only block the pain.
I am fascinated by the technology in the PainKare device as it is completely new to me. PainKare tailors specific protocols to specific systems by monitoring the feedback that it receives. When you get your PainKare device, the package includes the following things:
In order to begin using the device you have to charge up the battery with the USB cord provided, so it’s fairly simple. I found that at best the battery would last me two treatments, sometimes it would only last through one. Since I’m not very good at remembering to charge my devices, oftentimes I would go to use the device and the battery would be dead. However, the battery does charge fairly quickly.
To start treatment you connect the electrodes to the device and then put the electrodes in the pain area, or one electrode on the pain spot and the other on the opposite side of the body. The PainKARE guide suggests the electrodes last five treatments, and I found that to be fairly accurate. Oftentimes the electrodes looked fine to me after 5 times, but I noticed the effectiveness did decrease with more use.
When you begin a treatment, the timeline is as follows:
• Preloaded protocol runs up to 4 hours.
• Runs 2 to 8 hours, off and on, each day for first 5 days.
• Runs 2 to 4 hours every other day, after 5 days or 80% improved.
PainKARE does come with a very useful app, which I would recommend using. I could barely tell when my treatment started because it doesn’t vibrate like a TENS, but when I connected to the app I was able to see the progress I was making.
My personal experience with PainKare is that I had trouble finding a position where bioelectricity signal wasn’t interrupted. For example, here’s a screen shot of one of my sessions:
I had the electrodes on my back, and unless I was standing up or lying on my stomach I couldn’t get it to work. What I really wanted to do was sit down on my couch, or at least lay on my side, but I couldn’t do either. I was forced to lay on my stomach which is very uncomfortable on my back, the part of my body I was hurting in the first place. Additionally, the device can theoretically be worn in any situation, but I don’t see how it could be worn in public. The cords are fairly obvious, and because of the positioning of the electrodes I wasn’t even able to wear normal clothing while doing a treatment. Doing it at night would have been a good solution, except the signal was too often interrupted by my movements.
Overall I find microcurrent technology to be a fascinating development in treating pain, and I look forward to more development.
Have you ever tried microcurrent technology? What was your experience?