Back Pain Relief: User Manual
Date: August 25th, 2019
Welcome to Kaia!
Thank you for choosing Kaia to be a part of your pain relief. Congratulations on taking the first step!
If you are reading this, then you are one of millions around the world suffering from lower back pain. The good news is, you’ve taken an important first step toward better back health. Together with thousands of other Kaia users you decided to get active against back pain. Kaia training can be done in just minutes per day. Schedule in a quick Kaia session before work, during your lunch break and even while you travel! No matter where you are, Kaia is easy to use, engaging and entertaining.
In this document, we have collected important information to help you get started with Kaia. If your questions have not been addressed here, please reach out to your in-app Coach or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
The Kaia Therapy Concept
WARNING: Read these instructions carefully before use. Before using Kaia, consult a physician and schedule a medical check-up so you and your back pain can be approved for physical therapy.
How Kaia works
Kaia is a digital therapy app that is based on the scientifically proven concept of multidisciplinary rehabilitation. This means that Kaia delivers content, renewed daily, that is intended to teach users to self-manage their pain. This content combines several approaches that are particularly effective when used together. After an initial Self Test during the sign up process, users are presented with content from three different categories:
- Physical Exercises
- Relaxation Practices
- Learning Modules
We advise our users to adhere as closely as possible to the instructions to avoid potential harm and to gain maximum benefits.
WARNING: If you experience severe pain or loss of function in any body part during or after the use of Kaia, stop the exercise immediately and consult a physician.
Kaia should be used once a daily, between three and seven times a week, unless you have been instructed otherwise by a healthcare professional.
Kaia can be used when (Intended use and Indications)
Kaia is intended for self-management of non-specific low back pain that has persisted for longer than 4 weeks (subacute and chronic back pain), and for self-management following previous episodes of non-specific low back pain. Patients can use the app with or without current or past supervision from medical professionals but need to have undergone prior medical examination to exclude causes for back pain that would require specific treatment.
WARNING: Kaia cannot diagnose your conditions or injuries and cannot safely exclude potentially dangerous causes for your back pain. Do not use Kaia in lieu of medical consultation. Please consult your physician if you have any questions related to diagnosis.
Kaia should not be used when (Contraindications)
WARNING: Only use Kaia if you meet the requirements for use and when you have already seen a physician to exclude any cause for back pain that would require specific treatment or have been cleared for physical exercise like these in the app.
Potential spinal injury or fracture
Do not use the Kaia app if your back pain is related to a fall or other traumatic injury and has not been medically examined to rule out damage to the spine.
Decreased bone density
Do not use the Kaia app if you have a history of low bone density (bone loss related to age or other medical reasons) unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Spinal tumor- Do not use the Kaia app if you have or have had a spinal tumor, a history of cancer, or excessive night sweating, unexplained weight loss, and/or unexplained fatigue unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Do not use the Kaia app if you have a history of unexplained fever, a recent bacterial infection, unexplained potential symptoms of infection (feeling ill and/or fatigued), or a recent injection anywhere in the body unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Do not use the Kaia app if you have a history of experiencing numbness or weakness in your legs, loss of sensation in the genital area, or bowel or bladder incontinence, unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Previous spinal surgery
Do not use the Kaia app if you have had previous spinal surgery unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Advanced heart disease
Do not use the Kaia app if you have a history of heart disease, or shortness of breath after walking less than 2 flights of stairs, or other unexplained cardiovascular complaints (eg, palpitations, leg edema, cough) unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Conditions affecting your control over your lower body
Do not use the Kaia app if you have any conditions associated with impaired control over your lower body (from your hips to your toes), such as neurological conditions, unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app.
Musculoskeletal problems affecting major joints in the lower body
Do not use the Kaia app if you have any conditions associated with pain or reduced function of the major joints in your lower limbs unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Do not use the Kaia app if you are or think you may be pregnant
Gait imbalance or history of falls
Do not use the Kaia app if you have gait imbalance, a history of falls or if you have dizziness or low blood pressure that is induced by exercise, unless your doctor has performed a medical examination and medically cleared you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app.
Coagulopathy or history of bleeding event
Do not use the Kaia app if you have a history of hemorrhage or bleeding event, or if you have a coagulopathy or inherited bleeding disorder unless you have received a medical examination from a physician clearing you for physical exercises such as those used in the Kaia app
Do not use Kaia if you have trouble understanding any portion of the instructions or if you do not have full understanding of the English language.
Do not use Kaia if you are under 16 years of age.
WARNING: Use Kaia responsibly. Use Kaia only when you are proficient in the language of the app.
Your Daily Therapy
As previously mentioned, multidisciplinary rehabilitation is particularly effective for treating back pain. Our approach at Kaia includes physical exercises, relaxation practices, and learning modules. In order to provide the optimal therapy program for you, the app will select one exercise from each category every day. These exercises can be found under the “Training” tab.
From this screen, you can begin any of the exercises selected for your daily program:
- To begin an exercise, tap on the card and then click the “Start” button
- To switch between exercises, swipe left or right with your finger
While completing one exercise daily from each category (physical exercises, relaxation practice, learning module) is recommended, you can also choose to complete only certain exercises or add more exercises from additional courses a category (see below).
You can change your daily program by joining and leaving courses. To leave or enroll in a course, tap the button “Courses” (on iOS) or the three dots (on Android) located on the top right corner of the “Training” tab. This will lead you to an overview of the available courses with the option to “Enroll” or “Leave” each course.
Each course consists of several units. In your daily program, you will be presented with one unit or exercise for every course you are enrolled in. If all units from the day are finished, the day will be marked as completed. Please note, it is not possible to leave the Physical Exercises course.
Physical exercises are the cornerstone of your daily therapy. Based on the Self Test answers you provided when you signed up, the feedback you give after each exercise session, and the data of thousands of other Kaia users, the app will select the best exercises for you every day. To start a physical exercise session, select a “Movement” card and click “Start”.
Hint: To see which exercises are included in your session for that day, just scroll down from the card graphic for a preview.
Once you begin your daily program, the app will start to download the exercise videos. Please note: We recommend connecting to WiFi prior to starting your program as the downloads can be sizeable. If you choose not to connect to WiFi, please check with your service provide regarding data usage and overages.
Step 1: Instruction Video
Before your training begins, the Kaia app will show you a short introduction with the proper way to perform the exercise. Pay close attention to how the exercise is being executed and listen for hints on how to maintain the proper form. If you forget or need a reminder, you can always revisit the instructions during the exercise session. To do so, press “Pause” then the “Instructions” button.
Step 2: Exercise execution
After the instructions, it will be your turn to exercise. For static exercises, Kaia will show you the position to hold. In the case of dynamic exercises, you will be shown the proper execution. Simply perform the movement for the duration indicated by the timer in the bottom right corner of the screen. To pause your training, press the “Pause” button on the bottom left. To cancel your training, select the “x” in the top right corner. Please note: If you cancel your training, no progress will be saved.
Once you have paused the exercise, you will be shown the pause screen. From this screen, you can skip the exercise, cancel the training, or revisit the instructions by clicking each respective button. You can add exercises to “Favorites” by clicking the “thumbs-up” button in the bottom right corner. These exercises can be found and revisited in the “Progress” tab, under your “Favorite” list.
For some exercises, Kaia offers additional support to ensure proper execution. Motion Coach, an AI-based digital personal coach, helps keep track of your repetitions, as well as offers guidance as you perform the exercise. Motion Coach uses your phone’s camera to pinpoint your movements and give you real-time feedback. To use Motion Coach, click on the “Motion Coach” icon or go to the “Progress” tab and look for Motion Coach enabled exercises there. Please note: Motion Coach is not currently available on all exercises.
Once you click on the “Motion Coach” button, the exercise will automatically continue from where you paused with Motion Coach enabled. Please follow the instructions and adjust to the feedback given by Motion Coach.
The second pillar of your daily Kaia therapy is relaxation practices. It has been shown in scientific studies that pain-specific relaxation techniques can help sustainably and effectively reduce pain levels, particularly for persisting back pain. Kaia currently features two different techniques to assist in relaxation: Breathing Exercises and Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
You can participate in both these techniques by enrolling in or leaving the respective courses in the course overview.
Relaxation practices are included in your daily program. To start a session, select a card by tapping on it and then click “Start”. The app will play an audio recording which will guide you through the entire exercise. You will have the option to give feedback once the exercise is completed.
The third pillar of the daily Kaia therapy is learning modules. These concise and easy to digest sections offer additional information about the nature and background of your back pain and help you understand how to achieve long-lasting pain relief. To start a learning module, please select a card by tapping on it and then click “Start”.
The information is presented in an interactive chat format. You will be presented with information, followed by different options you can select to proceed or continue.
The Kaia App
At the core of the Kaia therapy app is the “Training” tab. This is where you will find your daily program with the units of the courses in which you are currently enrolled. However, the Kaia app experience does not stop here. There are other features and functions designed to enhance and enrich your experience.
- Always adhere to instructions given by Kaia and give honest answers upon self-assessment to ensure your safety.
- Never share your Kaia account with other people.
- Always update your app when offered as updates may contain content relevant to your safety.
The “Progress” tab in the app serves two purposes. First, it shows you where you are in your Kaia therapy journey. Second, it enables you to revisit past exercises. This is also where you can access Motion Coach directly and improve your exercise form.
Checking Your Progress
The basic function of the progress screen is showing you how far you’ve come with your Kaia therapy. You can check how your pain and sleep levels have developed over the past 30 days, as well as the day of your Kaia therapy you are in currently.
Hint: You can change which days you’d like to be reminded to use Kaia by clicking on the calendar at the top of this tab.
Accessing Past Exercises
If you feel like revisiting an exercise you have completed previously, you can do so directly in the “Progress” tab as well. Click on one of the images below the “Recent” or “Favorite” sections to start an exercise.
By tapping “Show More” you can access all your “Favorite” and most recent exercises.
Kaia is intended to be used regularly to achieve long-lasting pain relief. In fact, studies have shown that the more frequently Kaia is used, the more quickly results are seen. If you want to be reminded on specific day of the week about your Kaia exercises, you can enable this with a function called “Training Schedule”. If a day is enabled, you will receive a notification on your phone in the morning of the selected day.
The training schedule can be accessed in the “Progress” tab, by tapping the calendar shown on the top of the page, or by going to “Settings”, which are located in the top right corner of the “Progress” tab.
For further information about the app or motivational support, you can always chat with you Kaia Coach. The chat is easily accessible in the tab in the bottom right of the screen. The Coach chat works similarly to other messaging apps. Just type your message and your question or comment will be answered by your Kaia Coach. Please keep in mind that this is not a live chat. Your message will be answered as soon as possible.
We all have different ways of approaching change in our lives. While some can instantly add a new habit, others need some more time to adjust. Whatever your situation, the key to implementing change is to form habits. Here’s some advice that has helped Kaia users make the most of their therapy:
Make Concrete Plans
Getting started with Kaia is easier when you set a fixed time in your schedule to do your training: the more concrete, the better. For example, set your training schedule to do your physical exercises every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after waking up, but before breakfast. Make sure you have your equipment set up and ready to go.
For some of our users, it helps to always do Kaia in the same room. However, the app allows you to train anytime and anywhere, so feel free to try different locations and times to see what works for you.
The relaxation exercises are ideal for cooling down after the physical exercises or before going to bed to help you fall asleep. Try out different times and see what works so you can be consistent with your training!
Set Realistic Goals
Trying to achieve goals by relying on implementing impossible changes will just result in frustration. There is a reason that New Year’s resolutions rarely work; we are just not made to completely change behavior in a short amounts of time. What works, however, are small changes.
If it’s been a while since you’ve played a sport or exercised, start with one or two physical exercises per week. If you’re new to relaxation, plan short sessions so you aren’t overwhelmed. You can always increase your frequency and duration later. The most important thing is to get started!
Give Yourself a Reward
Kaia can increase your quality of life significantly over time but getting there can be difficult. Setting up a routine isn’t easy so don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a training session or two. Don’t get discouraged; just go back to where you left off. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a little reward when you achieve your goals.
Getting in touch
Kaia Health Software GmbH (abbreviated as Kaia in the text)
Kaia is a medical device.