If you suffer from chronic pain, it can affect every part of your life, whether you’re sleeping or going about your daily routine. But how can you escape the cycle of pain and finally find some relief?
Enter Quell. This FDA-cleared, doctor recommended device is worn just below your knee and activates with the simple click of a button. Then, Quell will tap into your body’s “natural pain control system to block pain signals and provide widespread pain relief.”
And although Quell is clinically proven to provide prescription strength relief for chronic back, arthritis, nerve, and leg and foot pain, it’s 100% drug free, provides relief in as little as 15 minutes, and helps fight pain 24 hours a day—even while you sleep! In this way, Quell can help you get relief, stay active, and sleep better.
You’re here because you’re desperate for relief from your chronic pain. Maybe you’ve suffered for years, or maybe your pain is new and this is the first stop on your journey. Whatever the case may be, we’ll give you important information you can use to make a wise decision about Quell.
To kick things off, let’s take a closer look at Quell’s features. Then, we’ll dig into exactly how the device blocks pain.
How Quell Works
Each Quell device is designed to be lightweight and slim, so that it’s discreet enough to wear under your clothes and comfortable enough to wear while you sleep. During each 60-minute session, Quell uses something known as wearable intensive nerve stimulation (aka WINS—we’ll talk more about this in the following section) to relieve your pain. Here’s how the process works:
- Snap the electrode in place.
- Strap the band to your upper calf.
- Click the button to start relief.
As Quell is working, its OptiTherapy™ technology will automatically adjust the intensity of your stimulation to ensure you get the exact amount of pain relief you need. All you have to do is perform an quick initial calibration, and Quell will automatically deliver therapy sessions every other hour—including during sleep.
On top of this, Quell’s app gives you the ability to choose between three different sleep settings and track your overall sleep quality, so that you can personalize your therapy. Quell also controls the amount of stimulation you receive throughout the night, in order to ensure your sleep isn’t disturbed.
According to the company, Quell may provide pain relief in as little as 15 minutes, which could last up to an hour after your session ends, although it could also “take several weeks to realize the pain relief benefits of Quell.” As long as you wait 30-60 minutes between each session, you can use Quell as often as needed throughout the day and night.
However, if you have a cardiac pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, or other implanted metallic or electronic device, it might not be safe to use Quell. Even if this isn’t the case, it’s always best to speak with your doctor beforehand.
Now, as promised, let’s find out exactly how Quell relieves pain.
Quell’s WINS vs. Traditional TENS
What Is TENS?
We’ve reviewed a lot of TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices over the years, including CopperWear Tensation, New Age Massager, Shock Relief, and many others. But regardless of who makes them or how they’re designed, in a nutshell, TENS devices work by stimulating nerves and inhibiting pain signals from reaching the brain.
The problem is that no one really knows why—or exactly how—TENS devices might provide some measure of pain relief, and there’s little clinical research showing that they’re effective in the first place.
We can say this though: In general, the electrodes on TENS devices are attached directly to the area where you’re experiencing pain. For example, if you had chronic lower back pain near your waistline, you’d put the electrodes in an area where the nerves underneath could be stimulated to stop those specific pain signals from reaching your brain.
Why is this important?
When it comes down to it, Quell is basically just a wearable TENS device, hence the name WINS. In other words, it’s not so much a new kind of technology as it is a different take on existing technology. It’s marketing, not necessarily a breakthrough.
In fact, other than that it’s rechargeable and wearable (vs. the battery operated units with long wires and bulky electrodes), we’re uncertain how much pain relief Quell might provide that you wouldn’t also experience with a traditional TENS unit (we’ll come back to this in the final section).
Despite this, Quell claims their WINS device is “5x more powerful on average than other leading over-the-counter pain relief devices.” And in testing, that “81% of users reported improvement in their chronic pain,” while “67% reported a reduction in their use of pain medication.”
One final thing before we move on: The company claims that Quell can “take several weeks to realize the pain relief benefits,” although there’s no explanation as to why this is. Again, Quell’s technology is based around TENS, and although we’re certainly not medical professionals, it appears that TENS treatments work quickly and aren’t progressive.
With all of this out of the way, how much does Quell cost?
Will Quell Cost You an Arm & a Leg?
Quell’s Starter Kit is probably the easiest way to get up an running, which is priced at $249 and includes:
- 1 Quell device
- 1 adjustable sports band
- 1 month supply of electrodes (2 electrodes)
- 1 charger cable and 1 charger adapter
You can also purchase a Family Pack (2 starter kits) for $498, sports bands (available in white, gray, blue, pink, and green) for $24.95, and additional electrodes for as little at $29.95 for a 1-month supply (2 electrodes).
However, there are other bundles and accessories available, so be sure to browse through their Products page for full selection.
All Quell purchases come with a 60-day money back guarantee, and each device comes with a 2-year warranty against any technical defect. If your device needs to be repaired under warranty, Quell will “provide a loaner device to ensure you continue to receive relief from your chronic pain while your repair is being processed.”
In order to request a refund or file a warranty claim, Quell’s customer service department can be reached at 800-204-6577.
Alright, we’ve talked a lot about Quell based on what we uncovered during research, but what are actual customers saying? Let’s take a look.
Is Quell Relieving Their Customers’ Chronic Pain?
Amazon’s Quell Reviews
On Amazon, there were 74 customer reviews for Quell at the time of our research, with an average rating of 3.5 stars. Of those who gave it high marks, most complimented its effective pain relief and ease of use.
On the other hand, common complaints referenced failure to relieve pain (one even claimed it made their pain worse), and a few others weren’t pleased with the quality (e.g. suddenly stopped holding a charge, electrodes quickly deteriorated, unable to calibrate, etc.). Whenever customers complained, however, it seemed like the company reached out to help solve the problem.
MedGagdet Tests Quell
MedGadget had an opportunity to review a Quell unit in August 2015, noting that there’s a small learning curve for getting used to the device, and that electrode strips were expensive, requiring replacement every couple weeks.
But they “didn’t experience significant relief after using Quell for a couple weeks,” which they hypothesized was the result of two things:
“First, while intensive nerve stimulation is a medically-validated therapy, the stimulation may be more effective if it were localized closer to the area of pain; we just weren’t seeing a systemic effect. Second, the stimulation options are extremely limited; one friend felt that the ability to further customize therapy could make finding a sweet spot for pain relief much easier.”
Their conclusion? Your mileage may vary.
Quell’s iOS & Android Apps
Quell’s iOS app had an average rating of 3 stars, although there were only 5 reviews total. Quell’s Android app did a little better on Google Play, with 9 total reviews and a 4-star average rating.
In either instance, those who were pleased claimed that it worked well and was informative, while the most common complaint cited bugginess.
Who Makes Quell?
From a company perspective, Quell is manufactured by NeuroMetrix, Inc. based out of Waltham, MA, who had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and no closed complaints (as of 1/27/16).
Can You Count On Quell To Ease Your Chronic Pain?
Whether it occurs in your joints, in your back, or anywhere else on your body, chronic pain can have a negative impact on your quality of life. But despite the fact that nearly every one of us experience chronic pain at some point in life, getting to the root cause and effectively treating it is a very personal process.
In other words, even for two people with the exact same diagnosis, TENS devices like Quell might work fantastically for one, while providing zero relief for the other. This alone means we’d recommend speaking with your doctor about different options, especially if this is your first attempt at addressing your chronic pain.
But even if you’ve had success with TENS devices in the past, we’re not clear that Quell will provide any additional pain relief—or, not that will be in line with its high price. However, it’s OptiTherapy™ technology, sleep settings, and app connectivity might provide customization and ease of use.
Despite our skepticism though, it seems like the device has a mostly positive only reputation with online customers, and the company seems to stand behind it with a 60-day refund policy.
Did Quell help relieve your pain? Tell us your story by leaving a review below!
10 out 10 people found this review helpful
Worked for me
I tried this for two reasons. 1) My neck pain is chronic because of a pinched nerve and after two Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy procedures (which lowered the pain but did not cure it); and 2) the 60 day return policy.
The pain in my neck is constant and at its worst goes down my shoulder and chest. I'd have to stop whatever I was doing until it subsided. Taking OTC powders and Tramadol helped some but using those every 4 hours 24 hours a day, I was worried about addiction and my body adjusting to the meds.
I've used my Quell for a week now. The pain in my neck is still there but weaker. No pain in the arm radiating from the shoulder and so far no chest pain. I'm still in the learning phase (how long to leave it on, what level to use, etc.) but overall as of right now I have no plans to return it.
Yes, the pads are pricey but there are ways around that, but so are the meds.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend