Articles and insights

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Tennis elbow; all questions answered

What is tennis elbow, why does it hurt, when does it stop. Read everything you need to know about tennis elbow, musculoskeletal disorders, risk-factors, exercises, etc.

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The technology behind your MLI™ solution

We take you through the high levels of how MLI™ Elbow actually works. Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, Bluetooth, EMG, and electrodes. A perfect mix for assessing your muscle load.

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Our vision for the future

It doesn’t stop with MLI™ Elbow. It’s just the beginning. In the coming years, we expect to launch three more products in the MLI™ Series; MLI™ Back, MLI™ Neck and MLI™Hand.

Tennis elbow; all questions answered

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Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD)

MSDs are injuries and disorders that affect the human body’s movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.).

Common MSDs include among others:

• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Tendonitis
• Muscle / Tendon strain
• Ligament Sprain
• Tension Neck Syndrome
• Thoracic Outlet Compression
• Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
• Epicondylitis
• Mechanical Back Syndrome
• Degenerative Disc Disease
• Ruptured / Herniated Disc

We use the term “musculoskeletal disorder” because it accurately describes the problem. Other common names for MSD are “repetitive motion injury”, “repetitive stress injury”, “overuse injury” and many more.

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The cause of MSD

The root cause of MSD is exposure to MSD risk factors. When you are exposed to MSD risk factors, you begin to fatigue.

When fatigue outruns your body’s recovery system, you develop a musculoskeletal imbalance. Over time, as fatigue continues to outrun recovery and the musculoskeletal imbalance persists, a musculoskeletal disorder develops.

The risk factors can be broken up into two categories:

• Work-related (ergonomic) risk factors
• Individual-related risk factors

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Work-Related risk factors

There are three primary ergonomic risk factors that put your body beyond your ability to recover, leading to a musculoskeletal imbalance and eventually an MSD.

Workplace design plays a crucial role in the development of an MSD.

High task repetition. Many work tasks and cycles are repetitive in nature, and are frequently controlled by hourly or daily production targets and work processes. High task repetition, when combined with other risks factors such high force and/or awkward postures, can contribute to the formation of MSD. A job is considered highly repetitive if the cycle time is 30 seconds or less.
Forceful exertions.Many work tasks require high force loads on the human body. Muscle effort increases in response to high force requirements, increasing associated fatigue which can lead to MSD.
Repetitive or sustained awkward postures.Awkward postures place excessive force on joints and overload the muscles and tendons around the effected joint. Joints of the body are most efficient when they operate closest to the mid-range motion of the joint. Risk of MSD is increased when joints are worked outside of this mid-range repetitively or for sustained periods of time without adequate recovery time.

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Individual risk factors

Poor work practices, your overall health habits, how you prioritise rest and recovery and finally your nutrition play a great role in developing an MSD.

Individual risk factors include:

Poor work practices. Workers who use poor work practices, body mechanics and lifting techniques are introducing unnecessary risk factors that can contribute to MSD. These poor practices create unnecessary stress on your body that increases fatigue and decreases your body’s ability to properly recover.
Poor overall health habits.If you smoke, drink excessively, are obese, or exhibit other poor health habits you are putting yourself at risk for not only musculoskeletal disorders, but also for other chronic diseases.
Poor rest and recovery.MSD develop when fatigue outruns your recovery system, causing a musculoskeletal imbalance. Adequate rest and recovery is very important.
Poor nutrition, fitness and hydrationTaking care of your bodyis important. Malnutrition put you at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.

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What is tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is inflammation of tendons, as well as injury to tendons and muscles around the elbow joint as a result of overuse.

While this injury is common for tennis players, anyone who engages in repetitive motion with their forearms, especially motion that repeatedly applies force, can develop tennis elbow. For this reason, tennis elbow is very common in a number of professions; athletes, carpenters, butchers, plumbers and also office workers.

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How to treat tennis elbow

Tennis elbow is typically difficult to treat. Read about treatment options below.

Treatment options include:

1) Activity Modification - You may need to change some of your activities. This is where MLI Elbow can help you.

2) Rest - One of the best treatments for tennis elbow is rest. Overuse causes tennis elbow, so resting is both an effective and often simple treatment option.

3) Over the Counter Pain Medication - Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDS, often available over the counter, are usually effective in treating the pain and inflammation associated with tennis elbow. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any medication regimen.

4) Changing Equipment – Scientists have found that those using inappropriately sized equipment are often at higher risk for tennis elbow.

5) Physical Therapy and Exercise - Physical therapy is often helpful for orthopedic injuries, including tennis elbow, because they focus on strengthening muscles that work with and support joints and bones.

6) Steroid Injections - your doctor may recommend cortisone injections directly into the affected muscle to reduce acute swelling and pain.

7) On rare occasions, if these options have been attempted over a long period of time and been ineffective, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment options.

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What causes tennis elbow

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common injury - anyone who engages in repetitive motion with their forearms can develop tennis elbow.

While exactly what causes tennis elbow is unclear, there are several risk factors, including:

1) Repetitive motion - Overuse of the elbow is a major contributing factor in the development of tennis elbow

2) Age - Most people who develop tennis elbow are between the ages of 30 and 50.

3) Activities - Anyone who vigorously uses her or his forearm muscle on a regular basis is at greater risk for developing tennis elbow.

4)Technique and equipment - Those who use improper technique, or whose equipment is not appropriately sized for his or her body are at greater risk for tennis elbow

5) This said, sometimes an individual with no obvious risk factors develops tennis elbow. When the causes are unknown, doctors may refer to the condition as “insidious” tennis elbow.

 
 

The technology behind Precure MLI™ products

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AI - Artificial Intelligence

Imagine a world where incident alerts arrive 30 minutes before problems even begin. Stop imagining. It's now. Read how MLI™ Elbow uses AI to help you.

The incidents alarm goes off. You are in charge. You will know that in 30 minutes problems will start rolling in. You’d have the power to prevent it. And not only prevent it. You would also be able to see what made the alarm go off, so that you can educate, share information and help those involved. You would be able to enable people to act smarter.

That is exactly what MLI Elbow does. During numerous tests, feedback loops and personal interactions, the device has learned about every little movement you make, your muscular behaviour, and your micro movements. It warns you when you start moving your arm in a inexpedient manner, and guides you to reduce your muscle load. Following this, the app lets you know about exercises that could help you, so that it doesn't happen again.

We think that's pretty smart.

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Machine learning

Machine learning, a subset of AI, uses the historical and real-time data we collect. We use it to help predict high-likelihood of potential future events.

The power of machine learning allows MLI Elbow to:

• Use event data and apply analytics to reduce event noise, false alerts, and rule maintenance so you can easily identify the impacting problem that needs to be prioritized and addressed

• Detect anomalies by looking at your data, baselining operational patterns and using statistical measurements to determine threshold variability patterns

• Dynamically adapt thresholds to this changing behavior and anomalous activity

Having a platform that can take a look at these patterns and baseline what is normal and not, and alert you of these anomalies, good or bad, is truly where machine learning helps you begin to take a more predictive and preventative approach.

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Smart Wearable

A smart wearable is the place where worn items as e.g. clothing, electronics and software are integrated into a smart device.

This clever design is often capable of tracking input either by sensors or actuators. This can be utilized as a keyboard incorporated into a pair of pants, an illuminating t-shirt, a fitness tracker tracking your performance during a run, or more advanced systems measuring muscular activity and movement patterns in order to identify your muscle load.

EMG

Electromyography (EMG) is the measurement of the tiny electrical signals in your muscles when your brains tells them to move.

These signals are typically less than one thousandth of a volt (0.001V or 1mV), so specialized equipment and techniuqes are needed to detect them. Since the signal amplitude is small special care is taken to remove noise and do proper signal amplification.

When processed, the MLI Elbow EMG signal is transmitted via Bluetooth, a wireless connection to the app for further processing.

 

Our Vision for the Future

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Overall vision

PreCure will reduce the impact and frequency of work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) To achieve this, we are developing a series of solutions for areas of the human body exposed to MSD.

We have started with MLI™ Elbow, MLI™ Back will follow, and much more will come to the support of the individuals. We have developed MLI™ Business for companies to help them avoid the pain and cost related to tennis elbow. Later, we will also develop MLI™ Health for the health care system.

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MLI™ Back

Our next solution will be for the lower back. The problem is many times bigger than that of tennis elbow and we cannot wait to help the many people suffering from pain in their backs.

We have initiatied the development and recieved a large fund from the European Reginal Development Fund. We plan for MLI™ Back to be available in 2021.

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MLI™ Neck

As with lower back pain, upper back or neck pain often spreading towards the shoulder is a very common issue for many people. By covering the Elbow, Back and Neck we hope to adress the most significant issues in and around the upper torso.

A more thorough description of the product will follow.

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MLI™ Hand

The Hand solution will cover the strains most often seen in the wrist

Furhter description of the product will follow soon