Taking it to the next level! Wearable Sensors Help Prevent Injuries, Improve Training

For many, daily exercise is priority number one to keep muscles toned and ready for any new challenge. For growing children, daily activity, such as team sports, keeps their bodies and minds healthy and developing properly.

Daily exercise allows for changes in training to meet new challenges—for example, an upcoming tournament—without having to carve out extra time. So, you’ve got the time, but what do you know about the efficiency of the training? Are there weak points that could be improved? And will the current level of training allow you to reach the next level? More importantly, will it allow you to prevent injuries?

Sometimes, small tweaks can make a big difference.

Identifying those needed tweaks has always been difficult without professional grade equipment. But wearable sensors are changing the world of home training. Orthelligent Prevention is a small sensor designed to have a big impact by diagnosing an athlete’s weak points and providing rehabilitative guidance to prevent injuries.

The sensor, which feeds information to a smartphone- or tablet-based application, measures and monitors personal progression. Designed specifically to be worn on the lower leg, the sensor can be used to perform specific tests that compare an athlete’s right and left sides. Coaches, parents, and even athletes themselves can access the graphical displays to check and monitor any imbalances that may be present and foretell potential injury. Once identified, the program provides a professionally developed training program to help correct imbalances that have been found.

The tests focus on 3 main areas: range of motion, coordination, and agility. Why is this combination of testing and training crucial for a successful sports career? Let´s dive a bit deeper into the focused areas.

Range of motion: The range of motion of a joint is measured in degrees. In the case of the ankle, it is dorsiflexion and plantar flexion (see figure). These ranges of motion are important to ensure good quality when walking, running, sprinting, jumping, squatting, and doing squats. With insufficient dorsiflexion and plantar flexion, knee pain and hip pain are inevitable.

Coordination: In addition to strength, speed, and agility, coordination is a mandatory motor skill for performing sports at a high level. Without the coordinative skills, you cannot call up your full performance.

Agility: To achieve maximum performance, agility—the ability to move quickly (speed) and easily (strength)—is of particular importance. If you tire too quickly, mistakes can occur that can lead to injury.

Set-up is fast and easy

The test and training procedure can be set up very fast. To get started, attach the sensor to the leg to be measured. Start the app on the tablet or mobile phone, select the test, be active, and after a few seconds, the result will be displayed. Then, move the sensor and do the same test on the other side. The app will compare the data and the full overview of the results will show up in a graphical way on your device screen. Afterward, use the training program to improve your weak points and monitor your progress regularly.

Knowing you want to improve your game is critical to improving your performance. Knowing how to train to that next level can be a game changer.

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