SINGAPORE: If you suffer from back pain, physiotherapy treatment may have become a bit more convenient, all thanks to a new mobile device developed by SingHealth and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Patients at home or in the office can strap on the device, which will then provide traction therapy.
The treatment is typically conducted at hospitals, with the patient lying down.
But with the new device, the patient can also stand or walk about during treatment.
The device weighs about four kilogrammes.
SingHealth said it is already in talks with a company to commercialise the device.
Based on a pilot study with 23 patients last December, half of them saw improvements in pain relief and quality of life.
Hanniel Lim, a physiotherapist at SingHealth Group Allied Health, said: "The potential of this project is great because the patients can receive timely and effective therapy at home, thereby saving time and money to come to the hospital to receive traction (treatment). It’s portable, they can bring it as and where they can go."
Madam Poh Pang, a Singapore General Hospital (SGH) patient, said: "It’s more convenient to use (the device) at home. I do the treatment twice a day and I don’t have to come to the hospital as often."
The Singapore General Hospital has seen the number of new patients seeking treatment for lower back pain more than double over the last 10 years.
It used to see 100 new patients a week. But it now sees more than 200 new patients per week, forming 30 per cent of the physiotherapy department’s orthopaedic outpatient load.
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