Claire - My chronic pain story and need your advice on exercise
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTjGARTIP9c&feature=youtu.be
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!