A machine that simulates horse riding is being used to help people suffering from back pain. Early results from trials using the iJoyRide have shown that the device — a sort of electronic bronco — can help to improve the mobility of sufferers and reduce their dependence on painkillers.
Gary Lutz, an osteopath who is testing the machine with a leading British university, explains: 'It exercises the muscles and structure of the back in a similar way to the work of an osteopath or physiotherapist. It's a bit like having either one of us in your home available to use any time you want.'
People with back pain or those who suffer from the stiffness of hip disease often develop a shortened stride as a result of the associated discomfort.
In trials of the machine, the patients' stride increased by up to ten inches, an indication of improved mobility.
One of those who has benefited from the new treatment is Meriel Pitcher, 53, from High Wycombe, Bucks. She has Stickler Syndrome, which means her body doesn't produce enough of the material that holds bones and joints together.
As a result she has restricted mobility — but within a week of starting to use the machine, she says the back pain from which she has suffered for 14 years has disappeared.
'I've found it very good at loosening the hips and keeping them supple,' she explains.
'It has come a little late for me, because I will still need to have both my hips replaced, but it has brought pain relief.'
The manufacturers claim that users of the electronic bronco will start to feel the benefit to their backs and abdominal muscles after a couple of weeks.
Source - Daily Mail