As long as there have been people, there have been salesmen. The Internet abounds with devices and “As seen on TV” products, for nearly everything you can imagine. How do we choose which devices are reasonable and which devices are impractical, nonfunctional, gimmicky or just plain rubbish? Personally, I like to read numerous reviews and to do quite a bit of homework before I decide to buy an item. I try not to be swayed by the salesman, the pitch or simply by the coolness of the device. Thus, I do not typically read re-advertisement reviews or reviews that are simply fluff-pieces. Unfortunately, there are many product reviews of items that sound too-good-to-be-true, that simply retell the same information from the company. I am proud of our efforts as we test our items and provide reviews based on actual real-world experiences. I have to be honest when I say that I was skeptical when I was asked to review the OSKA PULSE device. The packaging was a little bland and the device did not appear to vibrate, buzz, heat up or to do anything besides light up a few LED lights. I hoped that I was not being punked and that I was not part of some hidden reality camera TV show. After testing the device over the last three weeks, I have changed from skeptic to supporter. This little device significantly helped my elbow and upper back trigger points.
The OSKA PULSE device arrived in a 6 3/4 inches long by 5 1/4 inches wide by 3 3/4 inches thick royal blue/white retail box. The outer blue slip-cover made up the cover, back top, and bottom panels. The cover displayed the title of the device “OSKA” in bold white font and “Pulse” in a thin grey font. The top and bottom panels were devoid of writing and the back panel displayed the typical product labeling icons, an SKU sticker, the product name, a link to their email and excitingly a “MADE IN USA” logo. The outer packaging did not provide many details and there was nothing to grab your attention. To access the product, slide the inner box towards either side. The inner box had two white side panels, which made up the outer side panels, and the remainder of the top/bottom/sides were dark grey. The back panel was a direct copy of the slipcover, providing the same information except for the SKU sticker. Within the box, you will find a short 18 1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide elastic band, with a four inches long by 3 inches wide OSKA PULSE sized loop. At the opposite end, the strap had an attractive 2 3/4 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches long royal blue band with “OSKA” label on one side and “MADE IN USA PATENT PENDING” on the other side. You will also find a longer 42 inches long by 3 inches wide elastic strap with a similar blue label tag.
In addition to the two straps, you will find a sixteen-panel instruction manual, a single panel message from CEO Greg Houlgate, an eight-panel quick info guide, a 25 inches long black USB-A to USB micro cable (any USB-A to USB-micro cable will work), and the 5 1/4 inches long by 3 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches thick (13.3cm x 8.9 x 3.2cm), lightweight (8 ounces), device. Out of the box, you will need to charge the device. However, I would encourage you to navigate to page nine of the instruction manual before you do charge the device. The manual recommended plugging the USB cable into a computer USB or wall port but had some very specific requirements. I do not know that I have ever looked at the charger certifications but this device required the charger to be certified to UL60950–1, IEC60950–1 or IEC60335–2–29 (class 2 output/LPS 16V). The manual then warned that incorrect device selection would void your warranty. Personally, if these are the requirements to charge the device, there should have been a compatible wall charger inside of the box. I plugged the device into my MacBook Pro USB terminal and waited the 3 hours for the LED lights to extinguish, alerting me to the fact that the device was fully charged. To turn the device on, simply press the single black 11/16 inches diameter power button and observe a single beep. The UFO oval-shaped device had eight clear plastic sections that allowed the internal blue LED pulsing light to be observed. The OSKA PULSE will continue to slowly pulse over a thirty minute period and then will provide three beeps to alert you to the end of the cycle.
The device was incredibly easy to use. Unlike TENS/EMS units, the OSKA was not bogged down with modes, functions, a variety of buttons, nor with limitations of body hair, habitus or clothing. I liked that the device could be used irrespective of clothing. I was able to wrap the device around my forearm, or across my trapezius (upper back/shoulder region) and also slip my shoe off and place my foot upon the device, all without removing my button up shirt or socks. My favorite features of the device included the ability to wear it anywhere on my body and that the device affected an eight-inch range. It was also rather convenient that we were able to use the device with or without the straps. For some additional information, page eleven detailed nine different strap configurations to help the shoulder upper/middle/lower back, knee foot and ankles. As noted above, I was incredibly skeptical that this device would provide any benefit to me. I have had a few aches and pains that have been bothering me over the last few months. First, I have been suffering from lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) of my left elbow for the last eight weeks. I had tried everything available, short of an injection by a physician, to improve my elbow range of motion and to decrease the pain in my left elbow. This was not a long-term or chronic problem. Rather, it was a problem that occurred spontaneously and would not remit. Throughout the eight week time period, I took over-the-counter Aleve twice daily, used a tennis elbow brace religiously, regularly used Biofreeze topically, followed exercises from a physical therapist, ice massage, heat, and rest, all to no avail. Sadly, nothing has really helped this. My arm hurt with typing, the pain was worse when I bent my wrists backward (extended them) and the aching/nagging feeling in the left forearm was annoying. So, my initial thoughts about this device were directly influenced by the previous modality failures. I had nothing to lose by testing the OSKA PULSE device.
The instruction manual stated that the device would work faster on acute pain than chronic pain. Furthermore, we should experience a reduction in pain/inflammation quicker than an improvement in range of motion. I was excited to see a report of 90% customer satisfaction, despite their warning about the lack of immediate benefits. Chronic pain will take longer and you can simply use the device more frequently if you wish. As a huge benefit, there is no risk to overuse of this device, nor is there a risk of overdose. The instruction manual recommended 4–6x per day for the first week, then two to three times daily x 3 weeks and then once to twice daily thereafter. The device will not “vibrate, tingle, cause pain or create any sensation (occasionally it will cause slight area warming as circulation improved).” Just like the packaging stated, I had no idea what I should have felt while wearing the device. Without any signal from the device, I let my arm pain dictate the success rate. Keeping everything the same, I added the OSKA pulse device to my daily regimen. For the first week, I wore the device on my forearm 6x daily. By the end of the week, I had already started to note an improvement. It no longer hurt to type and the radiation pain that I had along my forearm had abated. I did not believe this, so I continued using the device for another week. By that time I was pain-free and no longer required the use of anti-inflammatory medications. I was personally shocked and excited about this change. I stopped using the device for one week, without any other changes, and then on the second week, I experienced a return of the pain. Interestingly, it was only at about a 2/10, nagging and nowhere near as severe. Using the device only twice daily thereafter, the pain remained under control. I was not excited about the prospect of a tennis elbow injection and the reduction in the pain was a very pleasant surprise.
Since the device worked on my forearm, I decided to try it over my left and right upper back/shoulder/trapezius trigger points as well. I have seen multiple injections, researched the outcomes and was concerned that sometimes people had no benefit. They risk infection, allergic reaction, steroidal effect and needle trauma from the shot or side effects/reactions from an oral medication. I was pleased with the experience and even more excited about the pain reduction. Within a 72 hour period, I had noticed less tension style headaches and less pain from carrying my stress in my shoulders. I was not having to roll on a golf ball any longer and my intake of Aleve cut in 1/2 after one week. With the completion of two successful tests, I turned to my nemesis, my plantar fasciitis pain on my right foot. If you have never suffered from this problem, I say that you are very lucky. This type of pain is a little different than the above problems because it does not really bother me until I get up in the morning and take my first steps. Every morning I am reminded of the fact that my foot hates me. I have tried changing shoes, avoided walking barefoot, added inserts into my shoes, rolled my foot over frozen water bottles, orange juice concentrate cans and used towels to stretch my calf. As noted above, anti-inflammatory meds provided only minor relief. Similar to my experiences above, I turned to the OSKA device for my foot pain and over a two week period realized that I found something amazing. Charging the device every third day, I found that the OSKA PULSE was always ready when I needed it.
Whether this was simply a placebo effect or the result of Pulsed Electromagnetic Field, the pain along the bottom of my right foot, the heel of my right foot, my right>left posterior calf, my upper shoulders bilaterally and my left forearm felt better with the device. Living in the age of opiate crises, this device shone through like a beacon I did not have to jump to Aleve or to see my physician and enjoyed the healing benefit of the OSKA device. The science behind the PEMF system was well outlined on the OSKA Website. Instead of simple anecdotal evidence, the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California did a double-blind placebo study to prove the healing/beneficial effects of the OSKA device. Even though the small trial consisted of 30 people, none of the participants had more pain and those that got the placebo did not improve like those using the device. Other than limited finances, there really is not a reason that people in significant pain should not give this device at least a 60 day trial period. The device has a 90-day money-back guarantee but placed restrictions upon the promise. To utilize the return, you need to purchase this from an authorized retailer and you will need to call their customer care department at 844–630–9932 (I DID NOT DO THIS) and ask for a Returns Materials Authorization. You will get reimbursed for the device and return shipping if all of these steps are followed and if the device is received by OSKA Wellnes, Inc. “no later than 90 days from the date of purchase.” Thus, buy one from their website, test it for 60 days, and if you do not absolutely love the device, call the listed number and send it back for a full refund.
The device price may seem a little steep at first. However, if you do a quick internet search for Norco (Hydrocodone) cash price, you will see that the price is not much different than three times per day dosing for the 5mg, 7.5mg and is about $100 less than 10mg tablets. It is true that pain medications may provide quicker pain reduction. However, the quick way is often not the healthiest nor smartest way. For the same price of 1–2 months of a highly addictive pain medication, you can use the OSKA device for well over a year. Divided over a year, the device costs just about thirty-three dollars per month and just about a dollar a day. Amazingly, this was roughly 1/5 of the cost of a single Norco pill.