According to some sources, as many as 100 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain. This can be treated in a variety of ways, including medication, but these treatments are not always effective. NeuroMetrix is a spin-off from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology that has developed a drug-free treatment to block chronic pain, and the company has announced that it is available for retail sale without a prescription.
The Quell consists of a band that you strap on the upper calf of one leg. Electrodes stimulate the nerves in your leg, which sends a signal to the brain. This signal serves to block the pain signals from other parts of the body. The device is designed to help patients with a variety of conditions including diabetic neuropathy, sciatica, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. You can control the amount of stimulation provided during each 60 minute treatment session, and using the optional iOS app, you can program it for different settings when you are active or sleeping.
The device has been cleared by the FDA for sale without a prescription, and is available from the company website for $249. You also need to replace the disposable electrodes once a week, which cost about $15 each. The company offers a 60-day money back guarantee for Quell devices purchased from their website. This is an interesting product that provides a non-medication approach to pain management that could be very useful to patients with a wide range of painful conditions.