Using therapy to reduce arthritic pain is another way that can help those who suffer with every day tasks. My research has led me to vibration and heat therapy (Thermotherapy), where the user would wear something that would provide heat or vibration to the joints in their hands or feet to relieve any pain.
It has been proven that alternating between heating and cooling pads can relieve issues that are caused by arthritis (101Arthritis.com)
The glove above, called “Thermoskin Thermal Arthritic Gloves” are made of thermal fabric to keep the hands warm, whilst leaving the finger tips out to provide the user with grip and mobility whilst wearing them.
Some forms of Thermotherapy use heated pads to warm.
Venture hear uses FIR (Far Infra Red) Technology pads to directly send warming infra red waves to the effected muscles in the hand to provide the heat needed to relive pain from that area. This work by getting the FIR radiation deep into the muscle, in some cases down to the bone, to increase heat and improve the blood flow through that area of the body. The following happens when using this technology:
- Accelerate healing time
- Reduces stress
- Increase blood flow to tissue and muscles
- Provide extended pain relief
- Increase ease of movement
- Provide relief from muscle spasms (ventureheat.com)
More versions of this product are below:
The other form of product therapy comes in the form of vibrations. Similar to Thermotherapy, vibration therapy work by to increase the blood flow and reducing pain of any muscle groups effected by arthritis; however this wok by covering he effect area with a controlled amount of vibration. Firstly, “applying gentle vibrations to stimulate muscles and ligaments to increase blood circulation. Secondly, the vibrations serve as a sensory distraction, disrupting pain signals that are constantly traveling from your body to your brain and replacing them with gentle, massaging sensations” (http://www.brownmed.com/our-brands/intellinetix/).
These products above are for the hand, elbow and knee and use vibration technology to help with muscle pain. There are made from cotton materials and are said to be a replacement for taking large amounts of medication.
As shown in the image above, this design has been done to make it easy to use and comfortable to wear:
- Vibrations aid in pain relief
- Provides mild compression to enhance blood circulation
- Anti-slip design features positive affirmations
- Comfortable to wear
- Cotton material allows skin to breathe
- Available in Small, Medium and Large.
This technology has showed me that I could incorporate heating and vibration in my designs to make using my product easier and more comfortable for the user. When a final design is reached, further research will be needed to see how I can put this technology into it and possibly combining the different kinds of therapy depending on what kind of product i make. For instance if I am to design a jug for carrying water, using vibrations won’t necessarily be the smartest idea as it could lead to lots of spilled liquids!