It's no longer a secret: contrary to nature, man has turned into a sedentary creature. Far too often, our body is deprived of the physical exercise it so urgently needs. We sit in the car, in the office, in front of the television, in the cinema or in the pub. There is insufficient movement stimuli for the back muscles, particularly the small, deep ones. Studies show that in many patients suffering from back pain, these muscles have lost their stabilising effect and urgently need to be trained and strengthened again.
One valuable aid here consists in interactive training programmes. The user acts as avatar, becoming immersed in a new world with a playful approach to training both movement perception and actual mobility. Ideally such sensor-based programmes should be medical devices. The instructions must be easy for every user to understand so that training is possible without needing a therapist.
Wireless movement sensors are fastened to the sternum and to the lower spine. They transmit even the tiniest movements via Bluetooth to a terminal device such as a smart phone or tablet. The user thus receives feedback immediately after completing the exercises and knows whether they were performed correctly or whether possible adjustments are necessary.
A therapeutic assessment is also beneficial, indicating which progress has been made. The user can call up the assessment after every training session and, if necessary, pass it on to the therapist or doctor for a professional appraisal.
Therapists/doctors interested in technological support for their work should note that this is a system specially designed for therapeutic use. Devices for radiation-free back scanning are used for imaging of the spinal column. They depict the angles formed between two adjacent vertebrae of the thoracic spine and lumbar spine, together with the tilting and straightening of the pelvis. The spinal column is measured not only in upright posture but also in flexion (bending) and extension (stretching). Other measuring modalities are possible. 3D resolution of the data on a computer screen facilitates diagnosis. The data give the therapist/doctor information about the mobility of the spinal column and any possible muscular deficits. Evaluation of the data helps to produce an individual training programme.
Software assistance can also be provided at this point. This needs movement sensors which record even the tiniest movement, giving the therapist/doctor and patient direct feedback about how correctly the movements were performed. Thanks to the immediate information, any mistakes made in the exercises can be corrected straightaway.
The software programme fulfils the vital prerequisites when the exercises preferably developed by movement scientists and physiotherapists focus primarily on the back.
In addition to the criteria for private use, the following must also be taken into account: