No pain, no gain. This is the mentality that plays throughout elite sports and in American culture, where progress is everything. On elite sports teams, athletes are pressured to play through the pain and to perform at their best for the good of the team. In the workforce, employees are also pressured to work through the pain. After all, their paycheck depends on it. While pain comes to us as a messenger, we often choose to ignore its signs, until the pain becomes too severe to ignore.
In the workforce, manual holding injuries have become a growing issue across a number of industries. In fact, chronic disorders caused by unsafe work practices are one of the leading causes of time taken off in the developed world. The amount paid in compensation for work-related injuries costs billions each year. And what’s more? Our employee’s safety is on the line. Despite our efforts to improve health and safety in the workplace, we have seen very little progress in the past five years. The issue is, our solutions are too subjective. Traditional ergonomic workplace assessments do little for our hurting professionals because, in reality, they do not paint a full picture of the movement strain they are subjected to each day.
The problem in elite sports is knowing when the time is right. If a player gets back on the field too soon, the risk of further injury increases dramatically. Soft tissue injuries, muscle sprains, and joint problems are among some of the risks that come with re-entry. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, there are several factors that contribute to the risk of future injury. Studying the likelihood of tear after a repaired ACL injury, it was discovered that age, level of activity, and type of graft determine the risk factor. Although, the most important conclusion was that education is key. “With better education about adjustments that can be made, based on these risk factors, patients may be able to minimize re-tears,” said Christopher C. Kaeding, MD of the Ohio State University. Neglecting pain and the body’s need for healing will ultimately exacerbate the pain in the long run. Although, with the right information and the right tools, athletes may make better-informed decisions and return to the game when they are truly ready.
Guiding Prevention With Wearable Tech
It all comes down to prevention. Given the innate impact of technology, more opportunities are being created for injury education and prevention. One such example is wearable motion sensor technology, dorsaVi. With a solution like dorsaVi, organizations now have an objective tool to quantify data from the workplace and indicate the risk of an individual’s daily reality. Combining wearable motion sensor technology, sophisticated logarithms and objective video footage on site, the wearable is able to pinpoint risk in repetitive or sustained movements as well as static postures. DorsaVi has joined the forces of leading global businesses to incite policy changes and ROI that can be quantified through positive impact. Working with Heathrow Airport, dorsaVi’s unique technology contributed to:
– Reduced strain on shoulder muscles by 67%
– Reduced strain on back muscles by 88%
– Increased use of manual handling aids by 60%
– Reduction of manual handling injuries by 53%
In the elite sports arena, the wearable’s objective data has also quantified progress in injury identification, training and rehabilitation. According to Megan Connell, Chief Marketing Officer of dorsaVi, “The precise dorsaVi sensors provide information that previously couldn’t be collected outside a biomechanical lab such as the kinetic forces impacting different parts of the body and how and where the injured body is compensating.”
DorsaVi’s Professional Suite consists of three core assessment modules: Low back, run and knee. Addressing movement data from these common pain points, dorsaVi delivers accurate insights that can be applied throughout an athlete’s journey. And while the solution has been used by the world’s leading sporting teams and Olympians, its data has been made accessible to almost all Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, and other clinicians. Because for dorsaVi, its all about giving individuals the right tools to succeed.
The preventative power of the technology is a crystal ball of what’s to come in the wearable space. What we’re seeing is that movement data is not only for world-class athletes. Optimum performance is relevant to everyone. No matter if you’re a gold medallist or an everyday champion, we may all take it upon ourselves to protect our health and lead the most active and fulfilling lives we possibly can, with the treasure trove of insights now available to us.