Underwear which jolts the buttocks with electricity could be used to prevent pressure sores.
Canadian academics said that in a short trial on 37 people, the shocks mimicked fidgeting and prevented sores forming.
Doctors at the University of Calgary tested underwear which placed two pads of electrodes on each cheek.
Patients who were unable to move because of a spinal cord injury were zapped with 10 seconds of stimulation every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day.
The findings, presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference, showed that none of the 37 patients developed a sore during the month long trial.
Robyn Rogers, a research nurse at the university, said: “Pressure ulcers can be terribly debilitating.
“Their incidence has not changed since the 1940s, indicating that the current methods of prevention simply are not working.
“Our hope is that this innovative, clinically friendly system will eventually make a difference in the lives of millions of people.”
Sores form when people are stuck in one position for too long, which compresses the skin and cuts off the blood supply.
They are a common problem in hospitals around the world and cost the NHS up to £2bn a year, according to the Royal College of Nursing.
by A + E