Physical pain is a part of life – everyone experiences it at some point. For people with chronic health conditions that include pain, physical pain is a “normal” part of our daily lives. Thinking back on my life, there isn’t a single day in my memory where I wasn’t in some form of physical pain. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder (G-HSD: generalized hypermobility spectrum disorder), and have had symptoms of it my entire life. Pain and I are old friends, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do whatever I can (within reason) to shove pain out the door for even a few minutes.
Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free (by Saringer) to use for this review. Even though I was sent this product free of charge, all opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are my own.
Disclaimer: Some links in this review are affiliate links. If you purchase a product via an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission. Products via the links are the exact same price as they would be otherwise, meaning you are not paying extra for my commission. All affiliate links will be marked with an asterisk (*).
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This review contains my own experiences and how it works for someone with my medical history. Discuss using this device with your own physician, and know that your experiences could be quite different than my own.
Due to my G-HSD, I experience daily joint pain. My worst joints are my hips, SI joints, lower back, ankles, and neck. My knees also frequently hurt quite badly. I also get other random aches and pains, rib pain, muscle spasms, and my nerves will get “cranky” and start yelling at me.
Since I do not enjoy living with pain – even though I am used to it at this point (I am now 28 and have been dealing with chronic pain my entire life) – I was all too happy to try out the Benepod pain relief device* when approached about doing a review! I was hopeful that it would finally give me some of the relief I have been searching for all these years! While it wasn’t the miracle device I was hoping it would be, it does help some of my pain quite significantly.
How it Works
The Benepod pain relief system* uses both heat and cold at the same time to confuse the nerves and interrupt pain signals getting to the brain. The combined heat and cold is called the Thermal Grill Illusion, and has been studied since the late 1800s. You can read more about how the Benepod works: here. (And check out their Facebook page: here.)
To use the Benepod, you plug the unit into a USB-C charger (included), wait for it to say it’s ready (there is a green light that goes from flashing to solid when ready for use), then hold the unit on the area that hurts. You should hold it in place for at least 10 minutes to feel relief, and after 20 minutes the unit will shut off. That’s all there is to it!
There are a few cautions in the instructions for the Benepod:
- Don’t use it on fresh injuries (for 72 hours after injury) – so if you sprain your ankle, do not immediately use the Benepod. Wait for an injury to heal for a while first, then use the device.
- Do not use on open wounds, immediately after surgeries, or if there is bruising or swelling on the area of pain. The Benepod does not heal injuries or tissues, it just interrupts pain signals going to the brain to provide pain relief. Allow acute injuries and wounds to heal before using the Benepod for pain relief.
- Check your skin every 20 minutes if using it in the same place. While 20 minutes in one area should not cause harm, more than 20 minutes could be too much for the skin. If you feel actual burning, move the device to a different area or discontinue use.
If you have concerns about using the Benepod in an area, consult with your physician prior to use. Since the principal of the device has been studied for so long, your doctor should know if it would be safe to use in most applications.
Overall – Positives
The device is easy to use, the sessions are quick (10-20 minutes), and the relief is instant after the session is complete. In some areas, and for some types of pain, I got relief that lasted for the rest of the day (sometimes even longer). Everywhere I was able to use it, I did experience some degree of relief for a significant period of time.
I was not expecting to feel much relief due to my nerves. The average person’s body will prioritize pain: “my toe hurts, punch me in the arm, great now I don’t feel my toe anymore!” Unfortunately, both fibromyalgia and dysautonomia mean that doesn’t happen for me. If my toe hurts and you punch me in the arm, then both my toe and arm will hurt and I’ll be in twice as much pain.
Since I know pain won’t override pain, I wasn’t expecting the device to confuse my nerves enough to stop the pain signals. I was very pleasantly surprised! While the device does create an unpleasant sensation during use (it’s supposed to), that sensation ends right after the device shuts off and then I realized I wasn’t in nearly as much pain as I was before!
As I mentioned above, my hips are one of my worst pain areas – nothing I have ever tried has ever provided relief for the pain in my hips. I was desperate the other day, as the pain was severe, and decided to give the Benepod* a shot. After the 20 minute session on my right hip (my worst hip), I was shocked! I did the session about 1 in the afternoon, and I still had significant relief by 6 pm and was able to go on a walk to the mailbox with my husband (it’s a 1/4 mile walk, round trip). While the pain did start to creep back before I went to bed, it didn’t get back up to severe for several days!
Not all of my results have been quite as miraculous as the hip, but I’m very pleased with the results I have achieved.
Overall – Negatives
Since the sensation produced by the Benepod* is intense, there were some areas I could not use the device. My ankles are in pain quite frequently, especially if I walk a lot in a day, but the device was far to intense to use anywhere near my ankles. Using the Benepod on my calf or shin did not provide any relief in my ankles.
Putting the Benepod on my SI joints was also intense. I could leave the device in place on my SI joint for about 5 minutes, but it wasn’t quite long enough to get significant relief. I was actually able to use it on my neck for ten minutes and felt some relief, and it helped the headache that was starting from the neck pain. My ankles were really the only area I couldn’t tolerate it at all.
One of the biggest negatives for me, was the need to hold the unit in place. You can’t block the fan, so you can’t put it on your back and lean against something to hold it still. This resulted in a few areas where I couldn’t use it on my own (like, some areas along my spine), and I had to have Dan hold it. The position required to keep the Benepod* on my SI joints caused some problems for my elbows and shoulders. (I can’t lay on my stomach for very long, as it hurts my neck – but that could be a good way for some people to use it on their back.)
Another semi-negative would be it must be plugged in the entire session. I would love to see it have a rechargeable battery so you aren’t required to be near a power source (or deal with cords). However, since it charges via USB, it’s very easy to use on the go if you have portable battery packs or a USB outlet available. And the cord they include is actually quite long (about six feet). I did try to plug it into my phone charger once, and it didn’t like that, however. My phone charges just fine on the Benepod cord, but the Benepod got an orange light and started beeping when I accidentally plugged it into my phone charger. Definitely label your Benepod charger to make sure you’re using the right one!
On my skin, the Benepod* also leaves bright red rings. They last for about 30 minutes, but that’s it. My skin is overly sensitive to heat, so it reacts by turning bright pink. I’m not getting burned, it’s just a visual reaction. However, the device is recommended for use with headaches, and I can just imagine walking around for 30 minutes with a bright red ring on my forehead!!! Until you know how your skin reacts, I would recommend trying it in a less conspicuous place the first few times! I was able to get some headache relief from using it on the base of my skull (where my skull meets my neck, on the back), so that may work the majority of the time.
Overall – Summary
I was quite pleased with my experience with the Benepod*! The relief was much quicker, and lasted far longer, than I expected. While being plugged in and having to hold the device in place were less than ideal, it is worth the relief the device provides. I’m excited to have another effective tool in my toolbox to help me battle chronic pain!
You can purchase your own Benepod from Amazon: here*. It is a Prime eligible item, as well, so you get all of those perks and pain relief! (I will get a small percentage of the sale, but it doesn’t cost you a single penny extra.)