BetterBack Therapy Develops New Iteration of Back Pain Relief Device
Tom Spendlove posted on December 28, 2016 |

Katherine Krug had back pain and sciatica issues after years of sitting at her laptop for twelve hours a day. She says that bad posture can lead to back and neck pain, fatigue and pessimism, and lower concentration skills. Improving posture can help improve memory, lower stress levels, and increase a person's energy. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015 Krug and her team are back with BetterBack Therapy, the next generation of back pain relief with heat and ice added to the mix.

Katherine answered a few questions for us about the design and development of this new effort. She said that she wanted the BetterBack Therapy to change a person's behavior in an elegant way, and retrain a body to sit and stand in great posture even when the user isn't wearing the device.

















One of the biggest challenges for this iteration was fitting every person. Making a product that fits the 1st percentile woman up to the 99th percentile man was difficult, and required a fit for every body shape, waist size, and femur length ratio. The first six prototypes required lots of impromptu fittings, pulling strangers from the crowd on the Embarcadero in San Francisco to try the device. Eventually two sizes were developed that fit people up to a waist size of 55 inches.

The largest manufacturing challenge during the first round of BetterBack wasn't a problem with materials or processing, but people. The factory and its personnel waited until the production order was 80 percent complete and then stopped work, demanding more money. After negotiating a new fee and finishing the first production run, Katherine and her team found a new manufacturer.

BetterBack Therapy is a great story of a market product taking user feedback and making improvements for another iteration. The addition of a heat and cold pack is the big change but several smaller changes have been made - different zippers, foam padding, comfort corners, replacement of leather, slip resistant kneepads, and a water resistant shell are all design changes from last year's model. The campaign has been highly successful and ends on January 10, 2017 with first units expected to ship in February.


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