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Movement Analysis

Dr. Matt Brown
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What is movement analysis?

Movement analysis is a clinical assessment of a patient’s movement, most often their walking gait. A variety of technology, including 3D computerized analysis, video, force measurements, and EMG equipment can help a physical therapist collect comprehensive data about a patient’s movement.

Movement analysis is often performed at the request of a referring physician, who requires an expert physiologist’s input to determine the source of discomfort, injury, or immobility. After the initial assessment, a physical therapist will likely compile a report to deliver to the referring physician, who can use the information to make a more informed diagnosis.

If movement analysis isn’t requested by a physician, the patient is usually looking to enhance athletic performance. Movement analysis can reveal in-depth information on running stride or pitching form, offering athletes an excellent starting point for great improvements.Source: CMAS

Why do people need movement analysis?

Patients generally only undergo movement analysis for one of two reasons: their doctor recommends it, or they are a serious athlete looking to get over a plateau. If a physician recommends that a patient see a physical therapist for movement analysis, it’s likely because one of their movements is causing them pain or injury. Understanding all of the mechanics contributing to a particular motion can help patients and their doctors understand what is going wrong.

Athletes, on the other hand, may undergo movement analysis if they find that their game or speed is not improving at the rate they’d expect. In these cases, movement analysis can help reveal if a slight movement not visible to the naked eye is hampering progress.

The most common reasons for movement analysis include:

  • Athletic performance
  • Discomfort
  • Injury

Source: DorsaVi

Physical therapy for movement analysis

If you undergo movement analysis, expect to perform the same motion several times in a row under the watchful eye of a licensed physical therapist. You can also expect to be hooked up to sensors and to be recorded by a video camera, possibly from several angles.

These sensors will allow your physical therapist to measure both your motion and force, revealing detailed information about your movement and its possible inefficiencies.

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