Spondylitis is a very common back and neck ailment that is reported to account for one-third of social problems causing difficulty at work. It is caused due to the inflammation in vertebral joints. Its condition goes undetected until the symptoms, such as that of severe pain, develops. It causes stinging pain which is focused around cervical region of vertebra, the shoulders and the lumbar region of the spine. Accordingly, it is classified into three types: cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral spondylosis. This is different from spondylitis which causes pain due to inflammation.
Many existing devices use electric current to bring relief from pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is one of the most commonly used devices in this aspect. However, though this has been able to bring effective results to its patients, there is a whole lot of controversy in conditions it should be used to treat.
Studies have shown these devices to bring relief by suppressing the signals from the brain. They are not advised for patients with pacemakers or any kind of electronically powered implantable devices. They are less effective where the skin is numb or in places where there is decreased sensation. It depends entirely on the working of the nerve beneath the surface and may cause irritation on the skin if the current is too high. Moreover, these devices need to be avoided in area where infection is present. High precaution needs to be taken when working with epilepsy patients and pregnant women; the electrical stimulation can interfere with the fetus development.
With such a wide range of drawbacks, there is a need for a mechanical solution which can redress these problems and provide an effective and ergonomic solution. Along with overcoming the present barriers, research has been done to demonstrate the positive effects of vibration in increase of bone density, increase of muscle mass, increase of blood circulation, reduced back pain, reduced joint pain and boost in metabolism. The given paper discusses a device wherein vibrational motors have been incorporated, under the control of a microcontroller, to generate the requisite g-force needed for the purpose of pain alleviation and increase of bone density.