At Carolina Podiatry Group, we’re always looking for new strategies, treatments, technologies, and techniques to help our patients overcome their foot and ankle pain and live healthy, active lives doing what they love to do.
One state-of-the-art piece of technology we recommend for many of our patients with chronic pain issues is a device called Quell, and it has dramatically improved the lives of many of our patients with a wide variety of conditions.
What Is Quell?
Quell is a small, discreet, wearable “smart” device that fits around your upper calf and uses electrodes to trigger a pain relief response from your central nervous system. The adjustable, breathable band and slim design wraps comfortably around your calf and under your normal clothes.
It is FDA-approved, drug free, requires no prescriptions or pre or post treatments, and has no known side effects. You can wear it to bed if you like to help you fall asleep and manage nighttime pain, and since it does not use any medicines or chemicals, it can be used safely in combination with traditional prescription or over-the-counter painkillers as well.
It also features Bluetooth technology and an iOS-compatible app that lets you track your therapy sessions and sleep quality.
How Does It Work?
Quell taps into your body’s natural healing processes, working alongside your sensory nervous system to provide just the right amount of pain relief, right when you need it.
After you attach Quell to your upper calf for the first time, you will go through a simple calibration process. Once Quell has been calibrated, the device will automatically activate therapy sessions every other hour. The electrodes stimulate sensory nerves in your calf (you’ll feel a gentle buzzing or light pressure sensation), which send neural pulses to your brain. In response, your brain blocks pain signals throughout your body, providing relief.
Once calibrated, the device’s algorithms are smart enough to know just how much pain relief you need. It knows what time of day it is and can sense when you’re sitting or lying down, adjusting the intensity of the impulses accordingly. Even so, you are able to manually increase or decrease intensity as needed at any time.
What Kinds of Conditions Can Be Treated or Managed with Quell?
Quell is useful for patients with nearly any chronic pain condition. We often recommend it to patients suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, lateral ankle pain, diabetic neuropathy, or even those who are recovering from a foot surgery. The value extends beyond foot and ankle conditions, as well. If you have symptoms elsewhere, such as chronic back pain or headaches, Quell can help you with those problems as well.
However, if you use a cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator, or other implanted metallic or electronic devices, you should avoid using Quell until you have a chance to talk to your general physician.
Our patients who have used the device have told us they’re very pleased with the results.