Battery-powered zapper first used by vets to treat injured racehorses can help ease long Covid symptoms
- Some two million Britons are believed to be suffering from long Covid symptoms
- Using microcurrent therapy can help long Covid patients feel less fatigued
A battery-powered gadget first used in veterinary medicine can help ease some of the worst symptoms of long Covid, a study has shown.
The Arc4Health armband is the size and shape of a TV remote and sits in a velcro cuff – similar to a blood pressure monitor – that is then strapped around a leg or arm.
Known as microcurrent therapy, it emits a weak electric current into the skin, and 53 per cent of long Covid patients who wore it for three hours a day, across three months, said they felt less fatigued.
Other symptoms of the condition, such as breathlessness and altered senses of smell and taste, also improved, the research found.
Fifty-four Arc4Health users with long Covid – which affects about two million Britons – answered a survey about their symptoms at the start of the study. Fatigue was the most commonly reported problem, as well as the most reduced at the end of the 12-week investigation.
The Arc4Health armband is the size and shape of a TV remote and sits in a velcro cuff – similar to a blood pressure monitor – that is then strapped around a leg or arm
Patients with long Covid are being offered treatment using the electronic device which was developed to heal injured racehorses
Previous clinical trials have suggested the treatment may ease joint pain and heal sprains and strains faster. It is often used to treat injured racehorses.
Doncaster-based GP Dr Dean Eggitt says it ‘makes sense’ that the device has some benefit, adding: ‘It could be a placebo effect, which is a powerful thing, but we also know sending a weak electrical current through the skin does reduce pain locally and improve muscle strength over time.
‘It’s not available on the NHS because there isn’t enough evidence to show it works, but knowing this, it’s up to patients whether they want to pay for it.’
The vast majority of long Covid patients say they have been suffering from the condition for more than a year. However, as the exact causes of the lingering problems suffered by some are not clear, doctors remain in the dark about how to treat it.
The Arc4Health device has been life-changing for Madeleine Duncan-Booth, 52, from Berkshire. She says: ‘Before contracting Covid last year, I would describe myself as a very fit and active person, running and swimming two or three times a week as well as practising yoga.
‘Long Covid was disabling – a 25- minute walk could leave me depleted for a couple of days.
‘I bought the Arc4Health device and felt a massive shift back to normality within three weeks. Recently, I have been for two swims, a long walk and a 90-minute shopping trip with no fatigue.’
Source: Read Full Article