When you have the opportunity to change your practice, what would you change? Every practitioner knows how important it is to have sufficient space available. Before you buy new equipment you need to make the trade-off between the cost, the potential usage, and space it will occupy. Recent advancements in wearable technology bring a new tool that can improve your practice. It’s affordable, small, lightweight, and portable. If you don’t know how it can be part of the practice of the future, read below!
Integration of wearable technology
Testing becomes flexible
When you see your client for the first time, physical assessment is the first step, whether it is curative or preventive. Testing functional movement is an important part of it, and running is one of the most specific movements there is. It’s simple and complex at the same time, integrated into almost every sport. It puts the body under high stress of 3 to 5 times bodyweight, with every step! Therefore, you have the possibility to test how the body reacts to these high loads. Is one side overloaded? Are there any compensations strategies to avoid the weaker or injured side?
Going outside the lab
You don't need a giant lab to do the testing anymore. You can do it even during warming up and cooling down. Do you need a treadmill? No. Now you have the possibility to test outside on the road, track, forest, and even on the football field. To find out how other therapists are using Runeasi outdoors read our blog post with a case example of a marathon runner returning from stress fractures. Getting back on the training pitch is always one of the latest steps in a rehabilitation process. For an athlete, it is already a big step towards return to sport, physically and mentally. There has always been a big gap between the rehabilitation setting and the field of action. Wearable technology is able to bridge that gap by providing sophisticated insights into the fieldwork. Is there enough carry-over from practice to field, to know if athletes are improving towards their return to sports?
Convince your patient, coach and medical staff
In current practice, decision-making happens in a multidisciplinary setting. Do you want to keep your patient motivated to work hard? Provide them with objective data. Be transparent about their working points and their progress in rehabilitation. What about the coaches and medical staff in elite sports? What’s more convincing than having objective, reliable data from the field? Wearable technology can make your life easier.
Monitor training is key
The weakness of a single test result is that it’s done at 'one specific moment. Does this represent the other 365 days in a year? Monitoring training can be a solution. Capture potential red flags during training to prevent athletes from severe injury. Monitoring should never be a burden to the athlete. The wearable has to be comfortable, light, and not time-consuming to start the training. Heart rate monitoring has already earned its place as a biometric in the market. Via a simple chest strap or wristband, you can obtain the physiological response to training. Getting biomechanical data out of 1 sensor is much more challenging, but recently became possible.
Gait retraining can help a lot of runners
You hear a lot; 'I don't get rid of my pain even when I keep doing my exercises. We don't always get the expected transfer of motor control training to running technique improvements. There is still a gap between the exercises and the specificity of running itself. Gait retraining can be a great solution for a lot of recreational and professional runners. To learn more about this topic read our blog post "Get successful with gait retraining".
Gait retraining can lower impact by 20% and reduce running related injuries by 62% (Chan et al. 2017)
First of all, you need to know what you want to improve in the running gait. Second, How are you going to do this? What cues can help? At last, you have to know if there is a transfer from conscious to unconscious. Wearable technology is able to provide real-time feedback to practitioners and runners. You can test and choose which cues are working, based on objective data. Do you really want to know if the runners make a transfer? Test them outdoors in their training environment with a biomechanical sensor.
Runeasi, biomechanical wearable technology
With Runeasi we are building a biomechanics wearable to make the world run better. Testing becomes affordable and efficient, when and where you want it. Expanding knowledge and data will help the clinical decision-making of the athlete. Wearable technology can be integrated into training and training interventions, like gait-retraining. It can be obtained by a single sensor measurement to make life easier for athletes and practitioners.