The difference between chronic and acute is just a matter of ‘time’ really. An acute attack of pain is something new that arrived and (hopefully) went. A chronic attack of pain is something that has been there for a long time, constant, like a toothache gnawing away at you come rain or shine.

If someone falls over and breaks a leg they are in immediate acute pain, and by the time they have been looked after in hospital, they usually leave with their pain in control. If someone is in chronic pain due to a toothache or back pain, there is usually nothing that you can actually ‘see’ that is causing it. Treatment for this type of pain can be a combination of things with the help of your GP and Pain clinic.

The average person will cope with some type of acute pain in their lifetime but most won’t have to suffer from chronic pain, so unless they have been in this sort of pain they have no idea what it is like.

Time and time again I get told how ‘well’ I look as if I must be making up how I am actually feeling. Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. My life has changed so much over the years that I can hardly believe it.

But staying positive, which I think I do, helps you through the dark days when the only people who know how much you are suffering are your loved ones. At this time of year everyone, in particular, women (sorry fellas) just don’t seem to stop so there will be many of us suffering in silence.

Soooooo, if you know someone who is in pain just remember to give them a helping hand at this busy time of year.


I was given the Quell device as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this Quell wearable pain relief review are my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company.

I was delighted when Julie at Chronic Illness Bloggers offered me the opportunity to review the Quell wearable pain relief device. I must admit that I was a bit sceptical at Quell’s owners claim that it works by strapping the device to your calf muscle and when the device is activated, it stimulates nerves in the leg that send signals through to your brain to induce your body to release its own pain blocking chemicals, known as endogenous opioids, which should reduce or eliminate chronic pain or even temporary pain.

I have tried tens machines in the past without much success as the relief didn’t last long enough so I was keen to see how long the pain relief would last using the Quell.

It can be connected to your smartphone and even works while you sleep and as I am an avid user of my smartphone it sounded perfect. It arrived charged and ready to use which was great.

When I started the trial, I was going through a rough patch with not only awful pain from Fibromyalgia but also a disc problem and foot problem. This year has been quite a trying year for me in managing my chronic pain including a new problem with some trapped nerves in my elbow which resulted in surgery.

I scored my pain level at the beginning of the trial at a 7 – 8.

The best part of the Quell is that it is 100% drug free, doctor recommended and clinically proven, and has a 60-day money back guarantee and a 2-year warranty for any technical defect, so you are on a win, win situation right from the start.

I started using the device after following the Quick Start Guide and I also looked at the information on the Quell Wesite. It tells you to use the device for at least two to three full 60-minute session per day for the first few weeks to ensure that you give the technology time to work.

With my pain being in many places and not just in one spot I was interested to see how it would work. I didn’t expect it to take all the pain away, but some release was better than none.

The app that you download on your smartphone or tablet will track how many sessions you complete each day but as I was taking my device away on holiday with me I was unable to use it this way, as I turn off data roaming on my smartphone while in Europe.

When the Quell is working, the initial feeling is a tingling or buzzing sensation like a tens machine but at no stage did it become uncomfortable for me. Its technology will automatically adjust the intensity of your stimulation ensuring that you get the exact amount of pain relief you need. Initially I felt that for a woman, having something strapped to your calf would be a bit inconvenient but you can always wear it in bed or under trousers.

It’s simple to collaborate the Quell with the company using their Simple 123 set up. It has a rechargeable battery that will run for an average of 30 hours on a single charge and is extremely easy to operate. The electrodes are meant to be used for approximately 2 weeks and then disposed of so unfortunately this means there is an ongoing purchase needed to continue with the pain relief.

It delivers the treatment for an hour, then it stops but you can change the frequency in the app. The app shows you how long you have left of your treatment, and you can stop or start a session any time you want. You can also stop Quell manually if you are not using the app simply by pushing the button on the device four times quickly.

When I arrived on my holiday I was desperate for some pain relief and I found I could soon walk for longer and the pain was down to a 4 -5 (in my foot). I wasn’t expecting miracles for the rest of my pain but walking without a limp was a great advance for me.

I decided to wear it at night and used it every night while away. It has three settings for sleep, Bedtime only – this cycle only lasts while falling asleep and turns itself off once you are asleep (this is the one I used ) Gentle overnight – this cycle continues throughout the night but at a lower intensity and Full power – this cycle continues through the night at the same setting as you have it on for using during the day.

There is in-depth information on the Quell website where you can also find a user manual, instructional videos and troubleshooting tips. They also have a dedicated Customer Care department and will answer any questions or concerns you have.

I think most of us chronic pain sufferers want a quick fix which this isn’t but patience is a virtue and the Quell will without doubt help alleviate some of your pain, which at the end of the day is all we wish for. In a study published in the Journal of Pain Research, 80% of participants responded to the Quell reporting that their chronic pain had improved in 60 days.

Overall, I would give it the thumbs up and is more effective than a Tens machine.






With so many people offering you advice on how to deal with back pain it’s difficult sometimes to know which advice to take. The internet is full to the brim of different types of exercise regime to help with, in particular, lower back pain but my advice would be to see your gp or physiotherapist before you start trying something you have seen on the internet.

There are however some useful tips if you are in extreme pain. Firstly, try lying on your back, on the floor, with your feet and lower legs over a chair. Support your head under a pillow. Try to relax as much as possible.

Consider doing some simple stretches to improve your overall flexibility and help relax those over tight muscles.

Try standing with your back against a closed door. Align your shoulders against the door and touch the door with the back of your head, your buttocks and your heels at the same time. If you can manage this then your body is in the correct alignment. Try to hold this posture when walking.

Start walking. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to help to relieve back pain. A recent study found that a group of low back pain patients who did 3 hours brisk walking per week had considerably less pain and distress than a group who were given specific low back exercises. Walking helps exercise many of the muscles in the musco skeletal system, which in turn help provide support to the spine. I can honestly say that my endorphin’s always kick in if I manage to get out for a walk.

Always ensure you keep your back straight when lifting – no matter how light the object may be, and bent when bending down. Try to get someone else to sort out the bed quilt for you as double’s are quite difficult to sort out with a straight back and my back once went out when I was busy changing the cover after it had been washed.

If you drive pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around.


Finally for me I find heat, heat and more heat but I know there is an argument for both heat and ice especially during a hot spell like we have experienced over the last few weeks. Have you got any back pain tips to share with my readers?



There’ll be a range of exhibitors to see and talk to about the latest thinking in the treatment of back pain, including the following companies which I will cover over the next couple of weeks.

The Alexander Technique – 

BackCare – 

​Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance – 

The Bad Back Company – 

Back in Action  – 

The Back Pro – 

The Bowen Association UK – 

British Scoliosis Research Foundation – 

Elavina Joint Aid  – 

Feet and Spine  – 

Healthy Back Bag – 

The Human Office  – 

Hypervibe  – 

Joya Shoes  – 

Massage Training Institute – 

Medi Direct International – 

Medserve – 

N:rem Sleep System – 

Ortho Medical – 

Real Health – 

Relax Back UK – 

Rock Tape – 

Salonpas – 

Sandstone Yoga and Pilates – 

The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion – 

Scoliosis Association – 

Sit-Stand.Com – 

Shiatsu Society – 

Sole-Mates – 

Smarter Posture – 

Status Seating – 



Some useful Back Pain Tips.

Always bend you knees when lifting ‘anything’ and keep your stomach pulled in and hold the item close to you.

Avoid excess weight, as this puts a lot of pressure on your spine.

Watch your postures, especially if you sit down a lot. Take regular breaks to walk around and stretch out.

Stay as active as possible, walking and swimming are great for people suffering from back pain.

Try to keep your feel flat on the floor when you are working at a desk.

Only wear high heels for special occasions as they put a strain on your spine.

Pop a cushion or towel behind your back for long car journeys and make sure you stop for regular breaks.

When you are in the dentist chair as for a rolled up towel to place in your lower spine.

A great book on the subject with exercises and tips for a healthy back is ‘Healing Back Pain: Back Pain Relief Exercises and Tips for Healthy Back and Spine‘, by JS Jessica Many Finley JSF.