‘Smart’ Undergarment Could Be The Answer To Back Pain Woes

10/3/2017 6:44:30 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

Low back pain affects over half of all adults and costs the US an estimated $30 billion in medical expenses and more than $100 billion in lost productivity annually. Now, a “smart” underwear could change all that. 

Vanderbilt University engineers have designed a mechanised underwear that straps around the legs, back and chest and uses elastic bands to relieve stress on back muscles when people are doing physical tasks like moving furniture or lifting heavy objects. Users can activate the contraption when needed with a simple double tap, or even via an app. While conventional low-tech belts and braces in the market are often bulky and unattractive, this undergarment is lightweight and feels like regular clothing, claims the team that designed it. 

Their device made its US debut this August at an American Society of Biomechanics conference in Boulder, Colorado.     

“I’m sick of Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne being the only ones with performance-boosting supersuits. We, the masses, want our own,” said Karl Zelik, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the principal investigator on the project. “The difference is that I’m not fighting crime. I’m fighting the odds that I’ll strain my back this week trying to lift my two-year-old.”

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