Imagine putting a Band-Aid on a wounded wrist with each place being its own loop, each of them dipping their knuckles into one another to produce that quick sense of pain, but then the healer being able to set the hooks of the loops to apply pressure. Then, realizing that there was pain in just one loop, the healer could steer and apply pressure in all the loops without pain or injury. Suddenly, you are scratching a gnarly itch you thought you had completely cured—or learning what that could be like to handle an acute or chronic pain condition.
Researchers are moving beyond just the Band-Aid for acute and chronic pain.
That is the overarching principle of funska, a Swedish word for "gel." A tool made with soft, elastic, rotating blades with pliable curved surfaces that stretch, in the lab and in the lab user's hand, is doing just that for patients who are suffering from injury or infection, limb amputation or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Funska is a high-tech and very intuitive way to gently guide muscles and joints to operate at their best. Created by designers at the Institute of Design, it has been on the market for several years and is the result of in-depth patient and research research.
Funska engineers all over the world created a variety of formats to engage the wearer's body to relieve pain or pain symptoms. Their plans and developments are being published online at HealthDesign, the monthly publication that highlights innovation in health care, from culture to design. [Disclosure: This was not a sponsored product or placement of an article.]