Claire - My chronic pain story and need your advice on exercise — Scope | Disability forum
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Claire - My chronic pain story and need your advice on exercise

dth2m5 Community member Posts: 11 Listener

Hey Claire,

Thanks for your advice so far! I'm looking for some exercise advice. For the better part of 10 years, I’ve had chronic pain of the back  & sciatica as you know from my previous post. It’s a pain in my ass… and also my back. Haha. Chairs without backs have been my mortal enemy. 10 minutes of bad posture leads to sharp pain at my traps and rhomboid. It’s super annoying and early on I thought I could live with it.

Early in my career, I was a manufacturing safety engineer at Harley Davidson (it is a motorcycle company). All my co-workers suffered from chronic pain due to bad ergonomics like bad posture and overuse.

Then, I got hit by a bus. Rehab through physical therapy took a long time. Exercising off the exercise paper sheet was just not very engaging. But everyone knows stretches and strengthening exercises help a lot.

This has been a problem that I’ve wanted to solve for a long time. My best friends of therapists and engineers got together to try to solve bad posture and making exercise programs fun to get pain relief. So we set out to make a system that can make exercise fun and posture on top of mind. I'm the one holding the doughnuts! Yeah... they were giving away lots of doughnuts that day.

 The first product, called Enflux, was sensors in clothing that can measure body movement and help improve movement form and technique - important for making exercise fun and measuring bad posture and we released that in 2016. It is heavily used in physical therapy and athletics.

Physical Therapy TechCrunch News feature on Youtube:

Then, we used that technology to help with wrist pain, called WristAlert. It monitors wrist posture with a fun at-home exercises program. 1000s of people use WristAlert and we wanted to do more.

 We have been adapting our technology for the back posture with interactive fun at-home workouts. I think we’ll call it BackAlert. We're trying to make a really fun way to motivate and engage people in doing their stretch and exercises for back pain and posture.

Right now, it detects when you slouch and then the sensor vibrates to remind you to correct posture. See that black circle thing on the back? That is the sensor that measures the body movement.

The sensor connects to an app and allows you to exercise with trainers on back stretch and exercises. The sensor measures your exercise performance like range of motion. You select where your back pain is and the difficulty level of workout. Then you can select your exercise routine. In the video exercise classes, the trainers challenge you to meet certain stretch and exercise goals, like reps. Your stretch performance is shown on the TV screen. Just trying to beat your own goals, like range of motion and exercise points, and seeing your performance measured and improve on the screen is really fun.

This is a picture of our exercise session on a TV with your measured exercise performance:

We have been in development over the past year on BackAlert and I wanted to ask this community what they wanted to see.

Claire, what would you recommend? What would help you? What does the community want to see? What do you think so far? What can we build that would really make this a cool product? Does this look fun? What are your thoughts and questions?

I wanna share our progress with this forum and hopefully help a lot of people and give back to this community.

Thank you so much! I look forward to your opinion!



  • Ghost4287
    Ghost4287 Community member Posts: 13 Connected
    Firstly I LOVE Harley Davidson bikes, but sadly never been able to go on one and you had the right idea being in charge of the doughnuts.

    I like the products you have made so far and I think that the vibrate idea is a useful one. My dad has carpal tunnel but doesn't use a mobile so an app wouldn't be of use in that case.

    * I really like black but maybe more people would use it if you could get it in different colours.

    I was actually looking at a strap on thing that helps with posture but I know that I wouldn't be able to wear it for long. For me I'm not sure what would work as I've tried lots that haven't worked but none really that have been useful but I know that I need something more than what I have.

    * Maybe if you had a person on screen that shows you what to do first off, for every exercise.

    * It reminds me of the Wii fit a bit.

    * I guess if it stores your information so you know when you have got better or worse and by how much.
  • dth2m5
    dth2m5 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hey Ghost, 

    Harley Davidson was a blast to work at. Pretty much everyone that worked on the line was a rider and every day was a big bike show. Thousands of bikes would roll in each day in the summer.

    Yeah, I had a lot of fun with Wii fit and so my team is trying to do a lot of similar things. But we're also interested in making a Peloton type of exercise experience (it's a the spin bike that is taking over in the USA). 

    Yeah, that is a good suggestion to have a person on the screen that shows you what to do first off for every exercise. We're also thinking of doing live exercise sessions where the trainer can see people's stats and motivate them further.

    Here is a prototype of the person doing the exercise and the sensors showing your exercise performance on the screen:

    Keep the suggestions going! Thanks so much!


  • Kell430
    Kell430 Community member Posts: 59 Courageous
    At the moment I suffer with chronic pain in my ankles ( calcified tendonitis) surgery seems along time coming. I used to enjoy going to the gym and walking my dogs, so now I'm crutches I can't do any of that :'(  I need to keep my weight down as  it puts pressure on other joints, I can't go bike riding although I'd love to but I need a trike and they are either massively expensive or not quite what I'm looking for. Any ideas what I could do to exercise in the meantime xxx


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