Cervical Muscle Diagnostic and Conditioning System for Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention
Neck pain, whether from a traumatic event or of a non-traumatic nature, is a leading cause of worldwide disability. In the US alone, medical costs tackling neck pain are the third highest bill for health-related conditions ($88 billion every year). Acute neck pain can resolve spontaneously over weeks and painkillers and muscle relaxants can represent a decent treatment. However, 50-70% of individuals experience chronic symptoms or recurrences 1–5 years after initial neck pain resolution. Therefore, 19.1 million patients visit every year a chiropractor or physical therapist to perform exercises for neck rehabilitation. Strong evidence supports that cervical muscle training helps to relieve pain, restore range of motion (ROM), and reinforce the musculature of the neck to prevent disabilities and injuries. Nonetheless, traditional rehabilitation approaches are not effective as they rely only on a “good enough” approach rather than evidence-based methods.
Current clinical guidelines involve the use of provocative tests, Cervical Range of Motion (CROM) devices, goniometers. It can also involve hands for neck disability diagnosis, bands or weight pressure for conditioning and strengthening exercises. However, these tools provide inaccurate and inconsistent data. They are also unsafe and inefficient to fully resolve the problem.
Orthopedic Wellness Laboratories (OWL) aims at changing the current paradigm. OWL will introduce the first medical device based on an innovative, adjustable resistive mechanism, for accurate and efficient evaluation and rehabilitation of neck disabilities. The device consists of a head restraint able to move in the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes connecting to a multi-axis modular resistance mechanism. This mechanism can be set to create resistance to the user’s cervical motion. The device utilizes advances in technology and movement metrics to provide quantitative, accurate, and real-time data of the patient neck range of motion in three planes. It also allows to safely and precisely strengthen specific weak or injured areas without overloading them.