Feeling pain in your knee? Blame it on the uneven wear and tear on the knee cartilage. A degenerating cartilage leads to arthritis. Stanford University researchers have found a simple way to reduce knee pain and slow the rate at which arthritis progresses.
Mark Cutkosky, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University, and his team have found that knee pain can be alleviated by analyzing and possibly changing a person's stride by Movement Retraining system.
In the Movement Retraining, a research supported by National Science Foundation's Human-Centered Computing Program, the test subjects were fitted with sensors and were then directed to walk on a treadmill. The forces on the subjects' joints were precisely calculated by custom software when they took a step. Using the data, the researchers suggested a gait change to help reduce the pain. The pattern of how a person walks is called the gait.
The idea behind the gait change is to shift weight away from the more worn-out area to the more cushioned area of the knee cartilage, say the researchers.
A biofeedback device for treadmill walking developed by Cutkosky and his team helps test subjects learn their new gaits. Even when there is one misstep by the test subject, the device vibrates.
Pete Shull, a key member of Cutkosky's research team says, " We've seen amazing changes in the lab. People are able to change the way they walk and they have less pain and greater function."
However, Cutkosky warns people not to try changing their stride on their own as it could do more harm than good.
by RTT Staff Writer
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