ActiPatch long-lasting pain relief
Review by Emily Hirschmann
Pain is the bane of my life. I have a long term back problem, which impacts upon pretty much everything I do; long-planned family daytrips will often go ahead without me, if I’m having a ‘flare up’; I can’t do a lot of the things I really enjoy because I know that they’ll cause unmanageable pain; I’m often house-bound through back-related issues; and, because I have to carry myself awkwardly, I regularly find myself with additional injuries and pain; my knees; my hip; my shoulder; my neck all cause me problems. I have enough prescription medicine to knock out a bull elephant, but the problem is that it knocks me out too, which isn’t really conducive to a busy working life. So, what’s the solution?
common recourse is to use a tens machine, the electrical pulses not so much reducing the pain as confusing it; the nerves being hyper stimulated by the carefully placed pads and so unable to trigger the brain’s pain acknowledgement sensors quite so efficiently. While the tens has its place, it does bring with it its own problems; I get what I think of as impossible itches; an itch that can’t be scratched because it has no external cause, just the nerves firing randomly; the skin where the pads sit also goes numb; the cables can trail and catch on things; the batteries are expensive; and it impacts upon what I wear – always need to have clothes that it can clip onto, which is no good for a floaty dress kind of day. Also, while the tens is useful for my back, it’s not so good for bony areas, such as the shoulder or knee and I don’t like having it on my neck. So it was with interest, and I must admit, not a little scepticism, that I read about a new long-lasting pain relief called ActiPatch
ActiPatch is a ‘drug-free micro medical device which uses Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy to reduce pain and accelerate healing’. The idea is rather like the tens machine; by modifying nerve signals and accelerating blood flow, inflammation is reduced and with that comes healing. Unlike the tens machine however, the electromagnetic pulse is sensation free, so you’re not bothered by the side effects, and being considerably smaller, with an inbuilt battery which will last up to an impressive 720 hours, you have no trailing cables and no awkward lumps hanging from your person.
Now, without going into the details of my personal medical history, I was pretty sure that ActiPatch would not be overly useful for reducing the pain in my back, it not being a muscular problem most of the time. However, it did appeal for use on my peripheral pains; the knee that is often strained from taking excess weight and the neck that I frequently crick through trying to protect my back, so I thought that I’d give it a whirl. After all, £19.99 for 720 hours of pain relief seemed like a bit of a bargain.
Provided with tape (or a belt for the back device), the ActiPatch can be simply applied to bare skin, has an on/off switch to ensure that you get the best performance for your money, and can be worn night and day for as long as you need it. The big question is; does it actually work? I’m somewhat surprised to be able to say ‘yes’.
To begin with, I wasn’t convinced. As the ActiPatch has no outward signs of working, it felt rather like I had a pointless bit of plastic stuck to my neck and shoulder, but by the end of the first day I did seem to have a greater range of movement. By the end of the second day, my cricked neck was feeling considerably better; not healed, but improved. Given that it usually takes me around ten days to get over a neck strain, I was quietly impressed.
Although they have their place, I really dislike taking painkillers; I don’t respond well to them and I never feel that great about pumping chemicals into my body. ActiPatch is non-intrusive, non-invasive, non-medicinal and side-effect free. It’s suitable for the elderly, arthritics and diabetics. And, at £0.027 per hour of pain relief, it’s a whole lot cheaper than over the counter paracetamol. Although there is no such thing as a cure all, for joint and muscle pain relief, ActiPatch gets my vote.
ActiPatch (RRP £19.99) is available for back, knee, neck, shoulder and hip pain relief. You can buy it online from www.boots.com.