Bad Knees, Performance and Spring Loaded: Get Back To What You Love

Spring Loaded Technology - Blog - Bad Knees, Performance, and Spring Loaded

Here’s the weird thing about working at Spring Loaded: people are actually interested in what I do. In other engineering jobs I’ve had, I would often get a polite response and a change of topic. (Oh, you test concrete? Cool. Did you see the hockey game last night?) But when I tell people about what we do here at Spring Loaded, the questions come fast, and keep coming. 

“Will it help me with my particular knee injury?” (It might, ask your doctor or physiotherapist if you should give it a try)

“How does it work?” (It’s a super secret. Intellectual property, man.)

“Will I be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?” (Spring Loaded Technology’s official stance is no.)

Even though our product is not as glamorous as wet concrete (little joke there), the high level of interest in our work makes a lot of sense. It’s easy for people to see how our product could have a positive effect on their own lives or the lives of their loved ones. Many of my family and friends have expressed interest in our braces for a variety of reasons.

My aunt is recovering from a serious knee injury, and is hoping to get back on the ski hill soon.

My friend is in her early twenties, and has had arthritis in her legs since she was a child. She is hoping to stay active for longer periods at a time and with less pain.

The number of people I have spoken to who want one (or two!) of our braces is more than I can count. Some have self-described “bad knees.” Some are interested in enhancing the power of their legs.  Every one of them has their own story, but all their stories have a common thread: they want to stay active in their favourite physical activities. Everyone is looking for a way to keep doing what they love, be it walking their dog, coaching judo or anything else in between.

Every day when we show up to work at Spring Loaded, we are working towards helping all these people achieve their goals of being active, whether that means increasing their level of activity or continuing at the same level of activity with more comfort. 

With my training in mechanical engineering, it’s easy for me to talk your ear off about the strength of aluminum, or the bending stresses on a hinge part, or the draft angle on a carbon fibre mold. My work at Spring Loaded involves all those technical things and more, but no one really wants to hear about the gritty details (except maybe my fellow engineers.) But our team needs the technical details to help us answer the questions about our product that matter to everyone. Is it comfortable to wear? Is it lightweight enough? Is it powerful enough?

At the heart of it, people are curious about our product for the same reason as we have been working tirelessly to bring our product to you: it could, even if in a small way, change people’s lives for the better. For another example of how our product can help, please check out Basketball for Life: A blog written by my coworker, Joel, which addresses how our knee braces could help his father get back on the court.

Chris Cowper-Smith

By Chris Cowper-Smith

At the forefront of commercializing Spring Loaded’s bionic knee bracing technology, Chris thrives at the interface of research and development to foster the creation of new products that have the potential to improve your quality of life. A published and award-winning scientist and CEO, Chris is recognized for his strong track record in bridging the gap between science and business while working closely with industry professionals, clinicians, researchers, patients, and customers. At Spring Loaded, Chris leads corporate financing, strategy, business development, and human performance testing.

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