An article in Mirage News caught my eye today. Could a robiotic ‘backpack’ replace opioids to relieve lower back pain? So, do you swallow another pill or wear something instead?
Mirage News wrote that sixteen million Americans-8 percent of the adult population-suffer persistent back pain. Many more visit their doctor for the occasional twinge. According to a 2018 study in JAMA, low back pain is one of the most common reasons given for prescribing opioids. That’s fueling the opioid crisis-and there’s little evidence the powerful painkillers even help.
Lou Awad, a Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences assistant professor of physical therapy says that the solution, might not be a pill you swallow-it might be something you wear. Awad researches and develops robotic apparel, battery-powered exosuits that make mobility and movement easier for patients who have had a stroke.
A major clinical trial has shown that the exosuit can be a safe and effective tool for the lower limb rehabilitation of survivors of stroke. Read “A Step Forward” to learn more.
“The robotic apparel consists of cables that apply mechanical forces in parallel with the underlying muscles,” Awad says. “The system is designed to be worn like a backpack, with attachments over the shoulder, around the waist, and also around the thighs. It is very unobtrusive.” When the power’s off, the wearer can move, bend, and reach without any restriction. Hit the “on” button, and the device “responds to the speed and motion of the user to adaptively help lift and hold objects,” Awad says.
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I guess I can only say one thing and that is ‘watch this space’ – amazing !
Source: Mirage News
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