By: 3 July 2015
Movement sensors give significant reduction in back pain in clinical trials

Movement sensors give significant reduction in back pain in clinical trials

New data from clinical trials have demonstrated that back pain patients monitored and treated using wearable movement sensors have achieved a significant and sustained improvement in pain and functional ability.
In the first clinical trial of its kind to investigate the effect of technology on the rehabilitation of low back pain (LBP), a team of researchers led by Peter Kent (University of Southern Denmark) investigated whether changing patterns of lumbo-pelvic movement and/or posture using motion sensor biofeedback, in people with LBP, would lead to reduced pain and activity limitation when compared with guidelines-based medical treatment or physiotherapy. Across all primary outcome measures, participants treated with the sensors showed a 35 to 47 per cent improvement after 12 months, which were all above the threshold for clinically important difference (>30 per cent of baseline scores).
The year-long, multi-centre, cluster randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial involved 112 patients, out of which 58 individuals in the interventional group were fitted with ViMove, a wearable sensor system from DorsaVi that turns human movement into actionable, easily interpreted data. The sensors tracked the patients’ movement at 200 frames per second, provided real-time feedback about high-risk positions for patients with back pain and encouraged positive movement patterns.
According to the authors, the results of the trial, as published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, are highly positive and indicate that “individualised movement retraining using motion sensor biofeedback resulted in significant and sustained improvements in pain and activity limitation that persisted after treatment finished.”

Kent, P., Laird, R. & Haines, T. (2015) The effect of changing movement and posture using motion-sensor biofeedback, versus guidelines-based care, on the clinical outcomes of people with sub-acute or chronic low back pain-a multicentre, cluster-randomised, placebo-controlled, pilot trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 16, 131. doi:10.1186/s12891-015-0591-5