Dextra – strain injury glove

Project Direction:

Designing interactive exercise products for busy individuals looking to relieve physical stress through convenient and fashionable wearables.

Motivation for Project Direction:

I love playing basketball, badminton, table tennis, doodling, drumming, CAD modelling and eating Japanese food, all of which require a decent amount of dexterity in at least one of your hands. I would hate to think that a lack of stretching or irregular posture over a long duration of time would slowly immobilize my hand, and eventually stop me from participating in the activities I enjoy.


What is Dextra?

Dextra is a set of products that helps sufferers of carpal tunnel relieve pain and restore muscle physiology to maintain productivity and dexterity in the workplace. Multiple methods of treatment are provided so that users with all levels of carpal tunnel can seek relief – anytime without drugs and braces.

The hand attachment is a tension relieving glove for occupied employees and students whose hands are too stiff or contorted for extended periods of time.
The arm, wrist, palm and finger muscles are required to stretch, flex and extend to retain comfort while in a work environment.

Target: Occupied Employees and Students

Constant repetition of certain movements and actions are sometimes performed in sub-optimal position.

Those who have experienced repetitive strain injury once, are susceptible to re-injury with repetitive, extensive, improper form.

Materials

The frame of the glove is made with neoprene fabric. The fabric used for expanding the glove for comfortable fit is elastane. The rings are made from thermoplastic polyurethane. The cords that connect the frame to the rings are made of nylon. The clips that connect the cords to the frame are made using polylactic acid. The thinner cords that connect the wrist band to the main frame of the glove are made from polypropylene cord for flexibility yet rigidity.


Process

Anatomical Biomimicry

Dextra uses elements of our musculoskeletal structure to elevate the layers of tissue beneath our skin and give notice to the fibrous muscles, tendons, ligaments and fasciae that keep us intact and help us complete our daily tasks.

Specifically the nerves that pass the Carpal Tunnel at the base of the palm, the Palmar Carpal ligament under the fleshy area near the thumb joint and the finger tendons.

Functional Prototype

The human arm’s connective tissue can be classified as muscles, ligaments, tendons and fasciae.

Connective Tissue Purposes:
· Muscles – Allow Movement
· Ligaments – Bone to Bone
· Tendons – Muscle to Bone
· Fasciae – Muscle to Muscle

Aesthetic Prototype

Finding a middle ground between functional, fashionable and comfortable design since the product is intended to be used for several hours at a time.

Strain Injury and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Irritation of flexor and extensor tendons is a common injury and thus finger movement becomes painful.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is another type of strain injury, caused by pressure on the median nerve, which passing through a gap called the carpal tunnel. The ligament at the front of the wrist presses down on the median nerve, leaving individuals with soreness, numbness and loss of grip.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Statistics

4 in 10 million Americans suffer from Carpal Tunnel.

96% of Americans use the computer every day at work.

1 in 10 Americans diagnosed with CTS every year.

Employed women are 3x likely to have carpal tunnel than men.

Solutions

To ease strain and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or to relieve wrist and hand tension, one should perform:

· Forearm stretches
· Flexion/extension of wrist and fingers
· Grip strengthening exercises