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    HOW DOES THIS SPINE REHABILITATION DEVICE WORK?

    A brief introduction of ACTIBACK...

    ACTIBACK

    ACTIBACK

    During the past hundred thousand of years, humans have straightened their spine in order to go from the four legged position to the two legged position (erected position). Deep muscles were hence developed around the vertebral column to maintain this so called erected position.

    Unfortunately nowadays, modern society and the arrival of new technologies (smartphones and tablets) have completely modified our postures. Prolonged seated position during work for example is indeed much more present today compared to a century ago. This ineluctably led to the weakening of the deep muscles surrounding the spine which is linked to many spine diseases.

    It is consequently why ACTIBACK was created: to help patients develop the deep muscles in order to prevent and/or treat spine diseases.

    General description:

    Firstly, ACTIBACK is today the only medical device present on the market offering the chance of working on the deep muscles surrounding the vertebral column. More over, this device especially allows the patients to develop these deep muscles in order to treat & prevent various spine diseases

    Deep muscle development is the real added value of this product as today, all exercises prescribed by physiotherapists only help maintaining these muscles in their state and not develop them. ACTIBACK allows this as the patient works against a resistance (a force sensor) that is located above his/her head which gives a live feedback of the force applied on a tablet located in front of the patient.

    While using ACTIBACK, the patient is asked to straighten his vertebral column. In other words, he is asked to grow himself up and stand in a more adequate posture. By doing so, the deep muscles surrounding the spine are hence mobilized and doing the exercises prescribed by ACTIBACK over a short period of time (say a month) considerably help treating  & preventing pathologies such as hernia, low back pain, scoliosis, etc...

    The use of ACTIBACK consists of two phases

    • I. Setting up ACTIBACK according to the patient (Only required once as the results are saved in a patient data file)
    • II. Doing ACTIBACK's training exercises: This phase is for deep muscle development and depends on the results gathered in phase 1.

    Phase I. SETTING UP ACTIBACK ACCORDING TO THE PATIENT:

    This phase is only required to be done once. Firstly, the patient places his/her feet on a platform that gives a live feedback of how the weight is distributed. A force sensor (located above the patient's head) is than lowered until it reaches the patient's head. Once it touches the head of the patient, this sensor is than elevated around 1 cm above the normal height of the patient. We do this as consequently, when the patient starts straightening his/her spine, he/she seeks to touch and push this sensor. Nowadays, most physiotherapists prescribe exercises where they ask their patients to walk straight with a weight on their head. The issue with these exercises is that it creates a crush effect on the spine (effect not created with ACTIBACK as the sensor is located slightly above the patients head and he has to grow himself up to push it).

    Once proper positioning of the sensor is done, 3 assessments are performed to evaluate the patient and calibrate the ACTIBACK according to his/her performance. The results obtained during this phase I. will then be used to create the adequate training program for the patient of phase II. The 3 assessments of phase I. are:

    • 1) MVC : Maximum Voluntary Constraint
    • 2) ETL : Endurance Time Limit
    • 3) ISC : Intermittent Spontaneous Contraction 

    1) MVC : Maximum Voluntary Constraint

    Figure 1 : MVC Evaluation

    Figure 1 : MVC Evaluation

    This lets ACTIBACK calculate the maximum force the patient can apply on the sensor when straightening his/her spine. The physiotherapists shall ask the patient to do a minimum of 5 MVC and then choose the best result. Once an MVC is chosen, the following ETL and ISC are programmed depending on the result of the MVC. (see Figure 1: MVC evaluation)

    2) ETL : Endurance Time Limit

    Figure 2 : ETL Evaluation

    Figure 2 : ETL Evaluation

    This is an endurance assessment. The patient is asked to straighten his spine, push the sensor and maintain his/her position during the longest time possible. A live feedback of the force applied on the sensor is shown on the screen of the tablet (blue curve) and the patient has to maintain the force applied between a green and orange curve (both green and orange curve are chosen according to the MVC), see figure 2: ETL evaluation. The green curve represents 50% of the MVC result and the orange curve 70% of the MVC. Once the ETL is performed, the results are saved in the patient file.

    3) ISC : Intermittent Spontaneous Contractions

    Figure 3 : ISC Evaluation 1

    Figure 3 : ISC Evaluation 1

    Finally, the ISC exercise. This is a dynamic assessment as the patient is asked to straighten his spine to push the sensor until it reaches 70% of the MVC initially calculated (see Figure 3: ISC evaluation 1). Once the force is reached, the patient is asked to return to his/her normal position (see figure 4: ISC evaluation 2) and he/she has to repeat this movement during 2 min.

    This is done so that ACTIBACK can know how many times the patient can perform ISCs over this period of time. The results are then saved in the patient file.

    Figure 4 : ISC Evaluation 2

    Figure 4 : ISC Evaluation 2

    The completion of these three assessments marks the end of phase I. and let ACTIBACK program the most adequate training program for the patient. However, please note that the physiotherapist can modify this program if needed.

    Phase II. ACTIBACK TRAINING PROGRAM:

    Lors du lancement de cette phase, l’ACTIBACK fourni au patient un programme d’entrainement intensif afin que ce dernier renforce et développe les muscles profonds situés autour de la colonne vertébral en le poussant à surpasser ses capacités initialement calculée en phase I. Le kinésithérapeute n’a plus besoin de tout le temps être présent aux cotés du patient car les exercices sont indiqués sur la tablette. L’ACTIBACK permet donc un gain de temps considérable pour le praticien. De plus, le kinésithérapeute peut créer un programme d’entrainement personnalisé pour le patient.

    Enfin, un bilan est fourni au praticien à la fin de chaque séance pour que ce dernier puisse vérifier que son patient a bien travailler.

    CONCLUSION:

    To conclude, ACTIBACK is a new medical device that helps developing the deep muscles around the spine by pushing the patient into straightening his/her vertebral column. Using this innovative tool helps treating & preventing many pathologies linked to spine, pathologies that are nowadays very present in our society.

    In terms of money, time is gained as the product is provided with a user friendly interface for both the physiotherapist and the patient. Physiotherapists are therefore able to take care of additional patients once ACTIBACK has been calibrated for the patient. The physios are for example no longer required to always be present during the endurance exercises.