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Exoskeletons Could Help Patients Poop

Spinal cord injuries complicate bowel movements, but exoskeletons can help make up for damaged nerves.

When someone suffers a spinal cord injury, the nerve damage can affect their ability to pass solid waste. This unfortunate scenario can lead to constipation and uncomfortable bowel accidents. A survey showed that more than a third of men with damaged spinal cords report bowel and bladder issues as the most prominent post-injury nuisance. However, a recent Interesting Engineering article reports that exoskeletons could help with recovery and improve bowel function.

New research showed that physical activity and upright posture can help improve the colon’s function, and exoskeletons can help with that. In the study, 49 participants completed 36 sessions of exoskeleton-assisted walking. The study’s co-author said, “We saw a notable reduction in bowel evacuation time, with 24% of participants reporting an improved experience.”

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