Anders can now go sledding with his children again. “The pain disappears with the Mollii suit”
Anders Karlsson, 51, has been living with muscle pain since birth; a pain that continues to increase over the years. To temporarily relieve the symptoms, he was forced to take warm baths and eat painkillers – but since he tried the Mollii suit two years ago, his life has changed completely.
– I have stopped with the medication and now I can go sledding with my children without being in pain for several days afterwards, he says.
Anders Karlsson is 51 years old and lives in Örebro with his wife and children. He works at an assistance company which two years ago attended a trade show where the medical technology company Inerventions showed off their electro suit, Mollii.
– It is a suit with 58 embedded electrodes positioned to stimulate up to 40 different muscles in the body. The neuromuscular stimulation can reduce spasticity and pain. I was pretty skeptical but thought it could probably help many of the people we meet at work, so we organised an event together where we tested the suit.
The pain disappeared
He had no expectations when he for the first time put the suit on, which consists of pants, jacket and a detachable control unit – but describes what happened then as “magical”.
– Imagine a slight breeze going through your body and cooling you down. This was how it felt after only a few minutes – then the pain disappeared and I became soft in my body. I was born with cerebral palsy and sit in a wheelchair 95 percent of the time, but after wearing the suit for an hour, I was able to put on my pants without having to hold on to the wall and put on my socks without my body straining against my voluntary movements. I have not been able to do that for several years. When I got home, I forgot the pain pills when I picked up my daughter at preschool – because it was cold and rough, I just waited for the pain to come back, but it took two days. Then I tried the suit again and the pain disappeared again.
The Mollii suit is CE-marked and was launched on the Swedish market in 2012. Today it is available worldwide and is used mainly by people with spasticity, tense muscles with related pain. Diagnoses such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injuries or acquired brain injuries. By helping the muscles to relax, the suit can help break the vicious circle – the tension decreases, which in turn can reduce the pain.
“Simple and effective”
Sofia Svennerstedt is a licensed physiotherapist and product specialist at Mollii Sweden. She says that diagnoses that cause spasticity, ie incorrect tension in the muscles, can affect patients to the extent that both working life and relationships become suffering.
– The pain affects their everyday lives. By offering a suit that is customized and that can be used in the home environment, while cooking or reading a book, we want to be able to help more people get activate and regain control of their muscles in a simple and effective way, she says.
Mimi Westerlund is Head of of Research at Inerventions. She says that a number of clinical studies, both in Sweden and abroad, have been able to point to improvements in spasticity, muscular pain and physical ability such as range of motion, balance, gait and mobility.
– Today, the Mollii suit is mainly used by patients with spasticity-related pain, but the ambition is to be able to offer the help also as a general pain relief, for example for patients with chronic pain in fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease or rheumatism. We are constantly working to develop explanatory models and research that support our clinical experiences. We see how well the suit works for our users, and in order to prove it the clinical studies are needed.
No need to worry about the pain
Today Anders Karlsson uses his Mollii suit twice a week and says that his life is different from before the Mollii suit was introduced to his life. He can pick up his daughter at school without having to plan for pain medication, and he can be outside playing with the kids despite freezing temperatures, without worrying about the pain.
– The suit can help so many people. I usually say that those who created it should receive the Nobel Prize and now my great hope is that the County Council also understands how important the Mollii suit is. If more people are given the opportunity to use it, more people can reduce their medication. Sick leave can decrease, more can work and pay taxes. It benefits both the individual and society. We would probably profit from it in the long run, he concludes.