Aches and Arthritis
At a recent AARP conference, Buzzy was the buzz of the ball. For aches and pains, simply place Buzzy directly on the site for 10 minutes. The anti-inflammatory effects of ice and high frequency vibration work together to relieve pain and keep muscles moving. For extremities, attach Buzzy with the hands-free pinch-free silicone strap.
Painful arthritis shots aren’t fun for anyone, and Buzzy helps ease the medication burn whether you mind needles or not. For most people who want their Humira, Enbrel, methotrexate or Kineret to sting less, this is the how you use Buzzy. Place with ice pack on the site of injection, leave in place 30 – 60 seconds, then move upward “between the brain and the pain”. For a stomach shot, move Buzzy laterally. Leave in place while administering the shot, then rub on the medication until the pain stops. For a shot in the thigh, relax the muscle by lying down; even sitting in a chair can stretch the muscle and make shots more painful. Move Buzzy out and lateral after the pre-numbing.
More On How It Works
Some interesting information on how Buzzy works to reduce pain for Arthritis Injections
From “Tech Talk: Contraption Reduces Pain of Rheumatic Therapy Injections” – The Rheumatologist, May 2013 -Tom Collins A Boon for Rheumatology Patients Tracy Lovell, MD, a rheumatologist at the Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic in Gainesville, Ga., says she suggests Buzzy to patients when they balk at giving themselves injectable medications. About 10 of her patients use the device, she says. She says it can be particularly important in psoriatic arthritis patients who have failed infliximab (Remicade), since the only other good options in severe cases are injectable drugs like etanercept (Enbrel) and adalimumab (Humira). One patient with psoriatic arthritis flat-out refused to take an injectable until he saw how well Buzzy worked, essentially knocking out the pain completely.
“This is a good modality to make the patient more comfortable with accepting the therapy and also be comfortable with giving it to themselves,” Dr. Lovell says. Buzzy works because of gate control, in which the sensations of the vibration and the cold of an icepack crowd out the sharpness of the needle and the burning feeling of medication being injected. The different nerves transmitting the sensation of vibration, cold, and the burning of the injection share a final common pathway—and, with the over stimulation with vibration and the cold, the sharpness of the injection is thwarted. Dr. Baxter used the example of getting a burn on your hand and running it under cold water. “Immediately, the sharpness of pain is overwhelmed by the coldness and vibration,” she says. “That’s how Buzzy works.”
Adults are also helped by descending inhibitory control, a phenomenon not seen in young children. Dr. Baxter describes it as a powerful sensation—like putting your hand in a bucket of ice water—taking up so much “bandwidth” that you can tolerate more pain elsewhere. This coping device is developed as we age, and is also why adults can tolerate somewhat unpleasant tastes, like bitterness, more than children. Buzzy can be strapped on for shots in the arm, placed between the site of the injection and the brain. It can also be held in the palm and applied to the skin. It is typically held to the area for a short time before the injection to desensitize the nerves. The vibrating mechanism in Buzzy is a flywheel motor with a piece of metal at the end of the motor that is off balance, so that when the motor spins the metal piece shakes and causes a high-frequency vibration. The motor is angled so that its energy is optimally directed to the nerves.
Dr. Baxter has gotten feedback from a woman whose 79-year-old father was so averse to needles that he almost stopped his dialysis. With Buzzy, he continued the treatment. She says she has also heard from a woman who said the experience of giving shots to her daughter, who needs regular injections for an illness, went from a three-hour ordeal full of tantrums to a five-minute activity.
Carroll Turner, who runs a life sciences incubator and is a patient of Dr. Lovell’s, says he used to routinely put off taking his weekly Enbrel injection because of the pain of the injection. Sometimes, “I just wasn’t up to it” or “just didn’t feel like it,” he says. Since he started using Buzzy about two years ago, he’s been taking the injections at the same time every week.
“I don’t ever miss an injection now,” he says. He rated the pain of the injection a 4 out of 10, with 10 being the worst imaginable pain, before Buzzy. Now, the pain is a non-issue, he says. “With the Buzzy, there’s just no pain,” he says. “It’s not as unpleasant so you don’t think about it and you just go ahead and do it,” he says. “It takes the anxiety away.”