HOW INCORPORATING NEW TECHNOLOGY AND DATA USE INTO PHYSICAL THERAPY IS ENHANCING PATIENT OUTCOMES.
We live in an increasingly data driven world, and the healthcare industry is certainly right up there at the forefront in its insatiable thirst for measurement. More than ever, insurance companies, legislators, the medical field and the public are demanding greater detail in numerical representations of patient attributes such as pain, strength, flexibility and function to make decisions about patient care.
The challenge in physical therapy is to learn which of the available technologies can provide us with the most useful information, and can aid in the decision-making process and, ultimately, improve outcomes for our patients.
Consistent with our aims of providing the very best care for our patients, KIMA has invested over the past several months in a number of new technologies, which we believe represent the absolute cutting edge of data capture and analysis. Today’s post is the first in a series of 4 blogs, designed to introduce these new devices to you, and demonstrate what they are capable of.
NORAXON MyoMotion & MyoMuscle
A core component of effective physical therapy practice is the ability to quickly and accurately analyze a patient’s movement pattern. It is well established that the way someone performs a particular movement is often a contributing factor to either the onset of an injury, or may prevent it from healing. Whether the cause or effect, the ability to correct faulty movement patterns and technique is central to concept of rehabilitation and performance optimization.
The Noraxon system is a remarkable piece of kit that gives KIMA access to research-grade 3-D live motion capture and analysis, combined with multi-channel EMG, all done wirelessly. In a level of detail that is rarely found outside research laboratories, we can now dive down into any physical performance and see joint angles, movement speeds, muscle activation, inhibition or over activity during practically any movement, from something as dynamic as a baseball pitch down to something as simple as standing up from a chair, all in real-time.
Now, not only can we see how an individual performs a movement, but what muscles they are using to perform it. This information, combined with a detailed clinical evaluation, gives us the ability to ascertain, at a very high level of detail, not only what might be going wrong, but why. Powerful stuff.
A few examples of how we’ve been able to successfully integrate the Noraxon system into our physical therapy practice so far:
- Analysis of jump technique of a volleyballer, to optimize landing biomechanics & minimize injury risk – the result of which has been the development of specific cueing and exercises to target deficits in movement control
- Checking muscle activation patterns to ensure an exercise is targeting the correct muscles in the hip joint
- Assessing throwing biomechanics with an emphasis on ensuring correct timing of scapular and shoulder joint stabilizer muscle activation and monitoring shoulder rotation angles in real-time
- Looking for clues as to the cause of shin pain during jogging by analyzing variables of a runner on a treadmill
For over 25 years, Noraxon U.S.A., Inc. has been a leader in manufacturing and distributing high-end measurement and training devices, such as EMG, gait analysis, biofeedback, and 2D/3D motion analysis that enables a unique approach to a fully equipped analysis and therapy concept for evidence-based clinical and research applications.
By Derek Mansfield
KIMA Staff Physical Therapist
Derek is an Australian-trained Sports Physiotherapist with more than 17 years’ experience. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Melbourne in 1995, and his Masters of Sports Physiotherapy at Latrobe University in 2012. Derek has worked with elite & recreational athletes in sports as diverse as cycling, rugby union, fencing, tennis, diving & basketball. Check out his full bio here.