Shoulder injuries can be notoriously complicated to rehab, especially when the injury involves multiple musculoskeletal systems. It is no wonder that an entire industry has cropped up to handle therapy and rehabilitation for injuries such as these, as shoulder recovery can be an exacting science.
Now some medical researchers believe they may have found a better way: robot rehab. A new line of exoskeleton systems designed to learn and repeat specific motions has proven a boon to some patients i physical therapy for shoulder pain:
According to the main researcher, Cecilia García Cena, simulating the skeletal system is not enough to develop this exoskeleton, it is needed to incorporate both the kinematics and dynamics of a complete model that takes into account the skeletal system, muscles, tendons and ligaments. All these elements are included in the new intelligent robotic system.
Time will tell if this system is versatile enough for different injuries, or whether it proves safe in larger trials. Still, this announcement is a harbinger of the time when physical therapy can be done in the home, safely and alone.
If your shoulder pain won’t go away and your robot steward has the day off, please contact the San Diego orthopedic offices of Dr. William Holland.