Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or avid walker chances are you’ve felt aches and pains or even experienced a life changing injury. In fact, studies suggest that 90% of all runners suffer injuries. And even though both the CDC and the President’s Council on Exercise suggest 30 minutes of walking a day for improved health, for many knee, ankle, hip, or back pain may make this recomendation seem impossible.
The Wall Street Journal says, “increasingly the runner’s road to healthy joints starts with gait analysis.” Not only runners, but all athletes or just causal walkers looking to maintain or improve their health and fitness can reap the benefits of motion anlaysis and movement assessment, because often times it is not running which leads to joint and soft tissue pain, but the how one runs which causes injury.
How it works.
Our highly skilled and trained movement analysts and physical therapists begin with discussing your complaints. It is important to assess the source of pain, how long you’ve had the condition, whether it was caused by an acute event or developed over time. We want to know what you feel, when you feel it and what you’ve done so far to make it better. Remember, you are the expert in your own experiences and your knowledge is important to us.
After gaining information about your complaint we want to see how you move. In an effort to properly diagnose the cause of your pain, we want to best recreate the situation where you experience it. If that’s after running for twenty minutes, we may ask you to run twenty minutes before we examine your gait, if it’s only at certain speeds we’ll want to see you move at that speed. It’s not our goal to exacerbate your complaint, but it is crucial to see what may be causing your injury.
Determine the Source – Treat the Cause
Three viewpoints, front, side and back, are utilized to determine what aspects of your movement may contribute to your injury. Common sources of pain in runners are: ligaments, muscles and tendons, or cartilage and bone, with the majority of the runner’s injuries occurring at the knee, ankle, or low-back. Walkers may suffer from instability, characterized by a wide stance or gait pattern, or in-equalities in stride length following injury, operation, or in some neurological conditions. For athletes participating or competing in field or court sports common movements such as changing direction or jumping may lead to sometimes serious injuries often to the meniscus or ACL.
Common therapies aim to treat what is wrong, typically pain in a joint, muscle or tendon. With Specialized Fitness’s Movement Analysis we go beyond this, seeking out how the injury may have occurred be it a lack of shock absorption, poor alignment, or increased joint torques leading to muscle over-use. Finally, through a clinical assessment, the why is determined, often a combination of lack of strength in the appropriate muscles, a lack of mobility, poor muscular control and activation, and faulty movement patterns.
Video Movement Analysis Services
Walking Gait Analysis
Abnormalities in the walking cycle can lead to hip, knee, foot, and low back pain as well as present an increased fall risk for older adults. Utilizing high-speed video motion analysis compared with established normative values and a clinical assessment, abnormalities can be quantified in order to guide the training process.
Abnormalities in the human running cycle include decreased shock absorption, abnormal joint motion and decreased stability of the foot, knee, hip and spine. Over time these can lead to wear and tear on various structures leading to pain and injury. High-speed video motion analysis and sEMG data are used to generate a picture of what is happening during the running cycle and help discover why in order to facilitate technique and training.
Return to Sport / Sport Injury Risk Assessment
Used to determine an athlete’s preparedness to return to high level activities following injury or operation, the return to sport evaluation takes a comprehensive look at how an athlete moves to determine his/her (re)injury risk. 6 key movements are assessed using high-speed cameras to objectively rate movement performance. Combined with our running analysis and sEMG muscle activation studies, these tests help identify poor movement strategies shown to increase injury risk.
For many athletes jumping can be the cause of acute and overuse injuries, it can also determine an athlete’s performance. Using high-speed video motion analysis the athlete’s jumping technique is critiqued for injury disposing strategies. Jump testing is sport specific and includes double limb, single limb, and ballistic hops