Speaking from experience, ankle sprains are the worst. Not only is spraining your ankle super painful, but the time you must take off from hiking and other sports to recover can be extremely frustrating. (Not to mention the armpit bruises many people get from needing crutches for a while.) But there’s hope! Here’s a bit about artificial intelligence (AI) and how can it help hikers and other athletes prevent ankle sprains.
What is AI?
Artificial intelligence (or AI for short) is the ability of technology to do intelligent tasks usually done by people because they require discernment and knowledge. Some examples of AI that you may already be familiar with are self-driving cars, digital assistants like Siri or Alexa, social media and social media algorithms.
Can AI help prevent injuries?
AI is already being used to aid in healthcare in numerous ways. From disease mapping to data collection and analysis to AI-assisted robotic surgery, AI is helping doctors treat disease and injury every day.
But can AI help in preventative healthcare? Can it truly help prevent injuries? The short answer is yes! AI is currently being used to help collect data and identify athlete injury risk patterns.
I wasn’t too surprised to learn that one of the most common sports and hiking injuries is ankle sprains. According to a preliminary investigation in TRENDS in Sport Sciences (TSS), ankle sprains make up between 10 per cent to 30 per cent of all recorded musculoskeletal injuries and those numbers increase significantly for hikers and other athletes.
Many of my friends have sprained their ankles playing soccer and other sports. I’ve also personally had multiple ankle sprains from hiking, which led to my right ankle needing an awkward and uncomfortable brace anytime I exercised for a few years during high school and university.
Options for preventing ankle sprains
There are multiple options for preventing ankle sprains but some of these options have downsides. For example, while functional bands are easily adjustable, unfortunately, they are not easily reusable. While supportive ankle braces are reusable, they are often not very comfortable for activities.
How can AI help prevent ankle sprains?
AI has been helping to prevent ankle sprains by helping researchers collect data on athlete’s ankle stability and performance when exercising. Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Physiotherapy at the University of Porto were able to evaluate data on the pressure points that when stimulated, can help certain muscles to activate, thereby preventing ankle sprains. AI also helped by providing a medium reference point from various ankle sizes to work with. With this helpful information, Prevent Sprain Socks were invented.
How do Prevent Sprain Socks work?
Made in Portugal where these studies took place, Prevent Sprain Socks take the best parts of functional bands and ankle braces and meld them into one comfortable sports and hiking sock. With unique and proprietary fibres, special elasticity, pressure point stimulation and tension straps over the ankles, these socks help prevent and decrease the severity of ankle sprains.
Not only do they prevent ankle sprains, but they also act as compression socks which increase circulation and reduce fatigue while hiking or playing sports. The socks also have non-slip regions on the bottom which prevent slipping within footwear. Plus, each pair of socks are treated with Pureco to ensure that they are antibacterial.
A lifesaver for hikers
After hiking in the Prevent Sprain socks a few times, I can definitely say they are super comfortable (much more so than my clunky ankle brace), and I haven’t sprained my ankles while wearing them! Yay! Maybe if I had access to these socks back in high school, I could have prevented multiple hiking-induced ankle sprains. These socks are also great for hikers like me with previous injuries because they offer extra support as well as extra peace of mind while adventuring.
Prevent Sprain Technology socks provide active stabilization by using integrated tension straps based on the biomechanical principles of functional taping and ankle supports.