Construction knee pad designs are being developed to help people with spinal cord injuries prevent injury by improving their mobility.
The US government is funding a project called Ankle Pad Development to develop new knee pads that would help people who have knee injuries by providing them with improved mobility.
“The aim of this research is to improve the ability of people with knee injuries to walk and function, to improve their quality of life, and to help them maintain their independence,” said Dr Sami Dahan, a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one of the project’s lead researchers.
“This research has potential to make a significant difference in people’s lives, but it has a long way to go.”
The NIH has funded the research for nearly a decade, which has involved over 40 researchers across the US, the UK and Germany.
Researchers have designed the pads, which are made of foam-filled polyester and have sensors attached to the pad that detect vibrations.
The sensors detect changes in the pressure of the pad, which can cause the pad to lose pressure, which causes the pad and the person with the injury to deform.
“People with spinal injuries who suffer from repetitive strain injuries tend to have a lower mobility level, so we want to improve mobility so that they can get to and from the shop as quickly as possible,” Dr Dahan said.
“Our goal is to make sure that we’re helping people walk and operate efficiently.”
Dr Dahan and his colleagues hope that the research will help to improve people’s quality of daily life.
“There’s a lot of people in the world who are walking around with disabilities, who are unable to walk, or who have some sort of disability that prevents them from walking at all,” he said.
“And this research will hopefully give them an opportunity to participate in this research and make sure they’re moving around as much as possible.”