Created by the makers of IcyHot and endorsed by Shaquille O’Neal, SmartRelief claims to be a safe, drug-free way to treat moderate to severe back and joint pain, as well as pain associated with arthritis and muscle strains. Using TENS, which is claimed to be a clinically proven method of relieving a wide range of chronic, persistent pains, as well as a patented, wire-free design, SmartRelief is claimed to be a silent, discreet, and odor-free method of reducing your pain.
Back pain is a serious subject, and is something that affects millions of people around the nation, from occasional sports-related pain, to unceasing chronic pain. Because of this, we found numerous customers who were thrilled with the release of SmartRelief, and its potential for finally relieving their back pain. Did SmartRelief come through for them? Keep reading to find out.
How SmartRelief Claims to Work
SmartRelief’s claim to fame is that it uses TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), a technology that the company claims “blocks your body’s pain signals by sending gentle electrical pulses along the nerve, which reaches the brain before the pain signals do.” TENS technology is also claimed to stimulate endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, further reducing your pain.
TENS has been used in physical therapy facilities for decades, but the manufacturer claims that SmartRelief combines this technology into a small, portable design that requires no prescription, has no unsightly wires, and creates no odor. Instead, SmartRelief is claimed to be smaller than a credit card, to be about half an inch thick, and to weigh less than an ounce. Its small, battery-powered device snaps on to an adhesive patch, which then sends gentle electrical pulses to small electrodes, passes them into your skin, which then move to your brain to interrupt pain signals. As such, the company claims that SmartRelief can be worn all day while at work and even when exercising.
In order to begin using SmartRelief, you’ll first need to snap the device to an adhesive pad. Then, you’ll peel off the pad’s clear backing, turn the device on, and apply it to the area where pain relief is needed. The manufacturer claims that you’ll begin to experience a mild tingling sensation or a slight warming around the treatment area. From there, you can choose one of SmartRelief’s 63 different intensity levels, which will automatically shut off after each 30 minute session.
After your session is complete, you can remove the adhesive pad and reapply it to the clear backing, which gives you the ability to use it 12-30 times before needing to be replaced, depending on skin type. According to the SmartRelief website, the device runs on a common 3-volt watch battery, and that your pain relief can last for hours.
There are no known side effects from using SmartRelief.
SmartRelief Pricing & Refund Policy
SmartRelief is available from numerous third-party retailers, including Amazon.com, CVS, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and many others, both online and off. As such, refund policies will depend on each retailer.
Regardless of where your SmartRelief TENS Therapy Back Pain Starter Kit is purchased, it will include one TENS electrical unit, one electrode pad, and one battery, and is priced at about $35. Replacement pads are available in packs of 2 and are priced at about $10.
(Be sure to check the SmartRelief website for a printable $5 coupon.)
What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About SmartRelief?
Overall, it appears that SmartRelief has a primarily positive online customer reputation, with some of the most common compliments referencing effective pain relief, ease of use, and portability.
On the other hand, some of the most common complaints reference difficulty adjusting intensity once it’s been applied to your back (cannot see the buttons), poor quality (unit didn’t last very long, comes unsnapped easily), and that it’s not energy efficient (goes through batteries quickly, which only last for about 2 hours of use).
In addition, some customers loved that the SmartRelief unit shuts off automatically, while others didn’t appreciate that it had to be manually restarted each time, which requires that you un-snap the unit from the adhesive pad and then reapply. Rinse and repeat every 30 minutes thereafter.
Note: SmartRelief is manufactured by Chattem, Inc., who also manufactures many other popular OTC medications, including ACT, Allegra, Gold Bond, Rolaids, and more.
Can SmartRelief Provide the Pain Relief You Need?
Once you get to the root of the issue, can SmartRelief provide you with effective pain relief? It’s definitely possible, but keep the following in mind:
While the SmartRelief website might make it seem that TENS is a foregone conclusion when it comes to solving back pain, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, WebMD put it succinctly when they write, “There is little research to support how — or even if — TENS really works.”
In addition, it’s important to note that when TENS is used, it appears to be most effective for temporarily reducing back pain. And although a section of the SmartRelief website claims that it’s effective for joints and other areas, the FAQ states that it should not be used for headache pain (although it may have originally been used as a transdermal patch for the treatment of migraine headaches), chest pain, neck pain, or anywhere above your shoulders. On top of this, SmartRelief is not to be used if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator, an internal TENS unit, or an implanted medical device containing metal.
While it’s true that professional TENS units may cost more than $100, once you add up the costs of regularly replacing SmartRelief units, the adhesive pads, and the batteries (a cost which only increases the more you use it), in the long run it would probably be more cost-effective to use a professional unit.
On the other hand, SmartRelief is small and compact, which means that it can go with you wherever you go, without having to worry about a bulky unit or unsightly wires. In fact, the manufacturer claims that SmartRelief will work even while you’re exercising.
While SmartRelief appears to be a possible solution for back pain, its primary benefit is in its portability, and in providing you with discreet pain relief while on the go. In other words, if you suffer from chronic back pain, you very likely already own a professional TENS unit, which you’ll continue to use as your primary unit when discretion is not a concern (e.g. at home).
3 out 4 people found this review helpful
Works as advertised... effectively diverts attention from throbbing compressed nerve root. Part of the neurosurgeon's "pain management" plan.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend