Electricity and the human body – the natural harmony for pain management
Managing Pain A staggering 28 million British adults are suffering with some form of chronic pain. Everyday pain is endemic and demands for effective pain relief are acute.
With the increased health risks posed by pharmaceutical painkillers and rising levels of opiate addiction, people are crying out for body-natural alternatives.
The natural potential of bioelectrical medicine has been overlooked in pain management.
One answer is proving to be in our own hands, or more exactly, in our own bodies. Despite most of us having basic access to it and knowledge that's been in use for millennia, the natural potential of bioelectrical medicine has been overlooked in pain management for decades. But things are changing. A series of recent lightbulb moments is now powering technology advances and a self-care surge is seeing devices starting to replace many drugs in the quest for effective control over pain.
For many of us, the pain relief journey traditionally starts with a packet of pills and can end in a clinic’s treatment room. But revolutionary advances in understanding of bioelectrical medicine are opening the way for all of us, at any age, to harness the power of our own bioelectrical systems, precisely blocking many types of chronic and acute pain and helping to resolve some of their causes.
A shock to the system for Olympic horse rider, Pippa Funnell
The personal fallout from living with pain can be as debilitating as the many forms of pain itself. But whether we’re a post-op amputee, the person with everyday back pain or an injured Olympic athlete, we share a common aim – to live a life where we’ve control over it, not where it has control over us.
A crashing fall left Olympic Equestrian Pippa Funnell, MBE, without feeling in both arms: “When I eventually got sensation back, I had constant pins and needles; the pain was excruciating. I was having to manage on painkillers almost continuously. In turn, this was worsening my asthma. I was in despair as it became a vicious cycle.”
In trying to find alternatives she was introduced to bioelectrics and PainPod’s 3 & Mi devices. A world-first, the small ultrawearable Mi imperceptibly mimics the body’s natural microcurrent, promoting healing by regenerating damaged cells at the site of injury. At the same time, the multimode PainPod 3 device blocks the nervous system’s pain signals to the brain and stimulates the body’s neuromuscular system to promote circulation and produce endorphins, the body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals.
The two devices and their complementary treatment technologies changed her life. In just a few weeks, Pippa found her symptoms almost completely subsided and she regained full use of her arms. The Mi and PainPod 3 are now part of her everyday routine.
Olympic Equestrian Pippa Funnell, MBE. Photo credit: PainPod
Key to Pippa’s recovery is the premise that pain treatments are essentially two-fold, with both pain prevention and condition recovery together forming a complete treatment. Blocking the pain signals from being sent along the pathway to the brain results in instant and ongoing relief, while concurrent stimulation of the muscular and nervous systems helps the body to promote healing and overcome long-term health problems (PainPod 3). Promoting natural cellular healing and regeneration of cause-related damaged or inflamed tissue at a cellular microcurrent level (PainPod Mi).
Gary Fagg MBE is the Chairman and CEO of the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust at the William Harvey Hospital. He knows first hand the debilitating impact of pain on diabetes sufferers.
“Pain is a constant companion to the diabetic - in some, diabetes will lead to amputation, leaving them with long-term chronic pain from the severed nerve endings,” he explained. “In others, losing circulation to their feet or legs will often end up in painful, crippling foot ulcers. Until now, the options to help alleviate suffering had been predominantly pharmaceutical.”
In a move that reflects the increasing trend for investment into effective electroceuticals, the Trust are putting power in patients’ own hands, giving them the choice of using the PainPod 3 multimode device to control their pain. A range of system accessories – such as treatment shoes that can be connected to the hardware – is also being made available to help improve limb circulation and foot health.
“We’re prioritising patients in physical pain, giving them the choice of whether they want to use it,” Gary explained. “We are a ‘doing’ organisation. We’re excited that these advances in bioelectric medicine are going to make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.”
Gary Fagg, MBE, Chairman and CEO of the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust. Photo credit: PainPod
Overcoming past problems
“One of our biggest challenges is education. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about the effectiveness and ease of use of the latest treatments,” according to PainPod’s CEO Rick Rowan. “With the latest available research and studies we are able to more precisely target many types of pain with proprietary protocols, as well as combine previously clinic-only technologies into ultrawearables that are simple to use and that fit into people's lives.”
Electrotherapy fell out of fashion with the rise of painkillers, with pills and tablets seeming the more convenient and transportable option compared to large and clunky machines. But the trend for smart devices, apps and other wearables started to change this as we realised healthcare can be personal and under our control.
This power, in both an ideological and scientific sense, has never been shown more than with PainPod’s advancements in bio-electrical solutions to pain problems. Having the ability, in a device that can fit in the palm of your hand, to directly block pain, regenerate cells and stimulate the muscular and nervous systems is an empowering step, and one that feels as natural as the bodies it treats.