6 Gadgets to Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

6 Gadgets to Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

By Donna Gregory Burch

Pharmaceuticals haven’t been very effective in relieving my chronic pain from fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, so I am constantly on the hunt for non-drug therapies to help myself and my fellow fibro warriors.

Donna Gregory Burch

A few months ago, I shared my experience with the Quell wearable pain relief device, and I still use it pretty much every day with good results.

Yeah, I know the idea of using some sort of device to zap away your pain might sound too good to be true – I was a huge skeptic myself before I started using one of these gadgets myself – but I’ve learned from personal experience that pain relief devices can be an extremely useful tool in managing fibromyalgia. So, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at some of the devices currently on the market and how they might help in the battle with chronic pain. Below are a few of the more popular options available for purchase online.

AVACEN 100

What is it?

Avacen 100

The FDA-cleared AVACEN 100 uses the AVACEN Treatment Method, an entirely new concept in pain treatment by noninvasively and safely infusing heat into the circulatory system to create muscular relaxation while increasing microcirculation throughout the body. Unlike other medical devices providing local pain relief, the AVACEN 100’s unique mechanism of action provides temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain and stiffness; the temporary relief of joint pain associated with arthritis; muscle spasms; minor strains and sprains; and muscular relaxation. It is a drug-free and safe alternative for relief of muscle and joint pain.

How can it help fibromyalgia

CE approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia in the 28 European Union countries was based on AVACEN’s very promising 22-person fibromyalgia study, in which all patients reported positive results. The AVACEN study was conducted under a cooperative research development agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the University of California San Diego Center for Pain Medicine, Perlman Medical Center and the VA Medical Center, San Diego.

The Society for Neuroscience 2013 Annual Meeting abstract program disclosed that the 28-day AVACEN follow-up study produced a statistically significant reduction of more than 40 percent in the widespread pain index and a reduction in average tender point counts from approximately 15 to 9 (11 is used for clinical assessment).

Where to purchase? Price?

The AVACEN 100 can be purchased atAVACEN.com for $2,595. Financing is available through PayPal Credit and TimePay.com. The device comes with a two-year warranty.

Return policy?

AVACEN Medical offers a 100% money-back, 30-day guarantee if you follow a clinically proven effective protocol of a twice daily 15-minute treatment.

Home ultrasound

What is it?

EZUltraSound UltraCure Pro Plus

Home ultrasound is simply therapeutic ultrasound therapy that can be administered in the home. The real strength of ultrasound is the ability to reduce inflammation, which is an enemy to healing. By helping to reduce inflammation, it allows the body to heal naturally.

During ultrasound therapy, a handheld transducer will generate high frequency sound waves that penetrate deeply into the tissues with the aid of an ultrasound gel. Most home ultrasound therapy machines will be handheld and have a rounded crystal probe head. After applying ultrasound gel, the ultrasound head should be moved in small circular motions during treatment. The handheld ultrasound transducer emits ultrasonic waves that travel through the body causing micro-vibrations in the tissues of the body. These vibrations heat tissues, such as tendons, ligaments and muscles, promoting blood flow at the injury site. This increased blood flow is the main aim of ultrasound therapy because it allows large amounts of nutrients and oxygen to reach affected cell tissues.

The most common frequencies of ultrasound machines are 1 Mhz, 3 Mhz and 5 Mhz. The 1 Mhz machines will actually penetrate deeper into the body, up to 1.66 inches and is most often used for therapeutic purposes. Both the 3 Mhz and 5 Mhz machines do not penetrate very deeply into the body and are more limited in their treatment scope. Some of the more common uses of ultrasound include joint and arthritis pain, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bursitis of the shoulder, knee, achilles, elbow or hip, tendonitis of the shoulder, knee, achilles, wrist, forearm and biceps, tennis/golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel/tarsal tunnel syndrome and strains/sprains/pulled muscles.

How can it help fibromyalgia? 

Ultrasound users with fibromyalgia report mixed results. Some people report an improvement in symptoms, and others do not.

Where to purchase? Price?

Home ultrasound machines can be purchased at EZUltrasound.com ranging in price from $99.99 to $139.99. There is a five-year warranty on machines.

Return policy?

There is a 60-day money-back guarantee as long as the machine has not been damaged. The unit much arrive at EZUltrasound at least two to three days before the 60-day period is up for processing.

Oska Pulse

What is it?

Oska Pulse

Oska Pulse is a small, portable, hands-free device that safely optimizes Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapeutic technology, a longtime therapy used by medical practitioners to help people live a more active, pain-free and drug-free lifestyle. Oska Pulse is a smart, safe, easy-to-use, wearable health technology product designed to help reduce muscle stiffness, temporarily relieve minor pain and increase mobility for people who suffer from chronic pain. Oska Pulse provides pain relief by promoting the body’s natural recovery processes. People of any age with pain due to injury, surgery or trauma can benefit.

How can it help fibromyalgia?

It’s recommended to use the device four to six times a day for half an hour. The Oska Pulse is very easy to use. You simply wrap it over the area you want to target, push the button, ensure it beeps and lights up, and the device does the rest. You can wear the Oska Pulse over your clothing and still feel the effects of it. Oska Pulse is a non-invasive alternative to opioids and other prescription drugs.

Where to purchase? Price?

You can purchase Oska Pulse at OskaWellness.com. The cost is $399.

Return policy?

There is a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Quell

What is it?

Quell

Quell is a wearable pain relief device that is 100 percent drug free and delivers widespread relief from chronic pain. Quell is designed to be worn one to two inches below the knee and works by stimulating the cluster of sensory nerve fibers located there close to the surface of the skin. Because the stimulation triggers your body’s natural pain blockers to provide widespread pain relief, you do not have to have the device on the area of the body where you are experiencing pain in order to experience pain relief. Quell is FDA cleared for 24/7 wear, so you can experience pain relief day and night. The product consists of a device, a sports band and an electrode.

How can it help fibromyalgia?

Quell is a great fit for widespread pain conditions because the device is powerful enough to trigger a widespread pain relief response versus a local pain relief response. Many people with fibromyalgia report good results with Quell.

Where to purchase? Price?

Quell is available for purchase at QuellRelief.com and at select retailers and healthcare provider offices. A Quell Starter Kit is $249, and a one-month supply of two replacement electrodes is $29.95. There is a two-year warranty on all Quell devices.

Return policy?

There is a 60-day money-back guarantee.

TENS

What is it?

TechCare Mini Massager

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. TENS, by definition, covers a complete range of transcutaneously applied currents used for nerve excitation although the term is often used with a more restrictive intent to describe the kind of pulses produced by portable stimulators used to treat pain.

TENS can provide pain relief from arthritis, tendonitis, headaches, migraines, nerve disorders, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, golf elbow, post-labor pain, neuropathy, carpal tunnel, calf injury, back and neck pain, sciatica and fibromyalgia.

How can it help fibromyalgia?

A 2013 University of Iowa study found TENS to be beneficial for reducing fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.

Where to purchase? Price?

TechCare TENS units are available for purchase on Amazon. Prices range from $25 to $100.

Return policy?

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee and limited lifetime warranty.

TQ Solo

What is it?

TQ Solo

The TQ Solo™ is a cordless, ultra-portable device that generates different forms of light (both laser and medical grade LEDs), which stimulate the body’s own repair processes when applied to an injured area. When our cells are exposed to varying colors of light (such as red, blue or infrared), it triggers the production of ATP, or cellular energy, that in turn can be used to repair the damaged cell. The TQ Solo™ has both red and infrared light to create a phototherapeutic effect, resulting in a reduction of pain, improvement of function or resolution of an injury.

Lasers, like the TQ Solo, are used in medical facilities around the world to treat acute pain, tendinitis, muscle strains, joint sprains, arthritis or bursitis. Research studies are ongoing to show how light may improve memory, heart disease and even autism.

While many lasers generate heat, the laser in the Solo has been “super pulsed.” This prevents the laser from heating up the tissue, so it will not harm the tissue like a surgical laser would. Users may feel a very mild warmth to the skin or no sensation at all.

How can it help fibromyalgia?

The TQ Solo can help to reduce the tender points associated with fibromyalgia by relaxing the muscle fibers. This reduces overall pain, but more importantly, the laser has been shown to protect muscles from injury when used before activity. Therefore, the daily morning use of the laser will actually help reduce the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms over time and even help to minimize pain after daily activities.

Where to purchase? Price?

The TQ Solo can be purchased at MultiRadiance.com. Multi Radiance Medical’s at-home lasers range in price from $1,995 to $2,495. There is a two-year warranty.

Return policy?

Products can be returned within 90 days of purchase.

Donna Gregory Burch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014 after several years of unexplained pain, fatigue and other symptoms. She covers news, treatments, research and practical tips for living better with fibromyalgia on her blog, FedUpwithFatigue.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Donna is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared online and in newspapers and magazines throughout Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. She lives in Delaware with her husband and their many fur babies.

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Authored by: Donna Gregory Burch

There are 13 comments for this article
  1. Tim Mason at 11:18 am

    Yep Steve, and I am still working like a rented mule.

  2. connie at 11:13 am

    A couple weeks ago my daughter in law treated me to a professional massage. I figured what harm can there be in a massage? It put me into a full fibro flare that I am still fighting complete with swollen joints! For many a massage works very well but for myself that is the last massage I will ever have!

  3. Marna Parker at 5:57 am

    I just ordered the Quell device and very hopeful that I get some benefit from it! It can be found on Amazon and QVC now too. I bought it through QVC, where you can get it in interest free payments over months, and free shipping/handling, plus an extra band and two more electrodes for the same price as offered for just basic starter kit elsewhere. Will report back on any positive or negative outcome! Besides fibro, I also have RA, PsA, DDD and much more, so lots of different pain to cover!

  4. Steve at 3:44 am

    The problem with most if not all of the pain gadgets are that they target only a small are of the body. When your whole body is in agony the best you can expect from these is a five-minute distraction from pain whilst setting the gadget up.

    If you are going to spend big bucks go for full body massage chairs or beds that offer a vigourous level of manipulation.

    Otherwise simple Buck wheat heat packs and self massage, stretching ,tapping and shaking out muscles are the only things that come anywhere near to some degree of holistic relief and alot lighter on the wallet.

  5. Tim Mason at 11:42 am

    I side with “gerard l becker” for DDD. I am one of the few that form scar tissue and my descending L5 nerve roots are encased in this scar tissue. Recently using a heating pad I developed either very hot or very cold shins while using the pad. My doc said that was due to the scar tissue. Now, the L4 disc has extruded and the surgeon said if he took that out the cascade effect would come quickly. My last MRI said spinal stenosis so I am going to try some pool therapy.
    Jean- I remember Quell shampoo too! Now there is a super lice that is resistant to that formula.
    There is a Sioux Indian sweat lodge near me I would like to try out but I hear everyone gets naked among other things.
    Right now I am working on my Statistics Archive data for a report.
    By the way, I posted a 5 video “the truth about addiction” that will change (and challenges) current addiction theory. The addiction theory was done on mice. The author of the video revisited this theory and made some interesting discoveries. Jean, I can send you a link if you like.
    all the best
    ..Tim

  6. John S at 11:09 am

    More GADGETS $$$$$$

    More money $$$$!$

    I’m going to come up with my own gadget very soon

  7. Donna Gregory Burch at 10:53 am

    @LaSandra, thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad that you find my articles helpful. You guys and your beautiful comments keep me motivated! I hope you love the Quell as much as I do. I would not without mine!

    @JeanPrice, I take the very same approach to fibro. I’ve found that making many small changes over the years eventually add up to positive results. I’m not sure if you could use CareCredit to purchase these devices or not, but it’s definitely worth exploring.

    I hope all of my fellow fibro warriors are having a low pain day today! Gentle hugs to all of you!

  8. gerard l becker at 10:49 am

    still awaiting a real breakthrough for spondylosis (DDD)
    none of these devices affect anything but the wallets of the desperate!

  9. connie at 8:37 am

    Fibromyalgia is one of many things causing me to live in severe pain every minute of every day. A couple of those gadgets stated that they relieve MINOR pain. I wouldn’t know what minor pain is! Once again you would have to spend many hours a day and thousands of dollars to possibly get minor relief causing a severe hardship on those who are able to work when treated with a proper amount of opiates. I have personally tried tens units and laser therapy with no success. Please just let me have what is proven to work!

  10. Weetha Peeple at 8:04 am

    Any port in a storm! Gadgets, wraps, heat, cold, whatever works for you and your chronic pain. I still use my back brace on occasion. I tried a “10’s” unit for a few months. It was not much help for me. We who have had non cancer chronic pain for any amount of time at all are not new to the “gadgets” that may help us with chronic pain. Those who are just realizing teir chronic pain is serious and way of life threatening should try a gadget if recommended by their physician. Good luck and I hope you find relief. If you find that a gadget does not help much with your chronic pain, good luck in finding sufficient medication too. A hard way of life has become even harder. Not by choice, as a matter of fact, against the will of millions. We have been placed on the “do or die” guideline. Better yet, the do and suffer” list.

  11. Jean Price at 7:21 am

    Donna…I haven’t heard of some of these devices before, AT ALL…and I doubt many others have either! Your article is informative and offers good information for starters for us to research and see which we think we just MIGHT benefit from! I often think for most of us, pain treatment is all about taking little edges off our pain, and hopefully finding multiple therapies which allow many small reductions! Most pain has a component that would be helped by these general principles of increased circulation and healing which is targeted to an area…or protmotes a widespread effect too! so I’m guessing there may be some of these which would help others in pain who do NOT have fibromyalgia! I wonder if CareCredit would also be an avenue to help pay for these products….since it’s a credit program which offers a range of interest free month’s terms…up to 24 months, for medical expenses and dental costs. Might be worth checking out if you’re considering one of these, since paying over time WITHOUT the added cost of interest is always a benefit!

    Thanks for giving us this information! (Previously, I only knew “Quell” to be the shampoo product that kills lice…and most parents of school age kids are familiar with it! Ha ha!)

  12. LaSandra McKeever at 6:09 am

    Donna, you are my favorite author. I enjoy your candid reviews of gadgets and personal recommendations. I suffer from fibromyalgia and Your reviews have guided me to the “must-haves” like Fay Farms Serenity lotion (I LoVe This product, thank you!) and the quell which I plan to order this month. I really enjoy your articles and get excited when alerts of a new one pops up in my email from the national pain report site. Just wanted you to know I appreciate you for sharing your knowledge and experiences with me and THANK YOU for taking the time to write it down. You are a person I value and one who has made a positive impact on my life.

  13. Jennifer Trippeer at 4:14 am

    The cost of these devices is prohibitive for people like me who live on Disability and have no support system. The TENS unit was of no help in the past and is the most affordable. Without any mention as to whether health insurance would help defray the costs it is frustrating. I appreciate the information you shared but it feels like another fibro blow to learn there could be some relief but not for me. Not your fault but the reality for many of us.

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