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Motion analysis center FAQs

Motion analysis center FAQs

Motion analysis center FAQs

What is a motion analysis assessment?

When a person has difficulty moving their body, there are often complex reasons for their condition. A detailed analysis of their movement, performed by a team of experts, can help with making the best decisions for treatment. In our center, we evaluate joint motion (kinematics), joint forces (kinetics), muscle activity (EMG), foot pressure mapping, range of motion, muscle tone and strength or control and oxygen consumption. In addition, surveys and the gross motor function measure (GMFM) are also administered.

How does motion analysis work?

Special reflective markers are placed on the patient’s skin and high-speed digital cameras record the markers’ movements as the patient moves. A computer uses this information to create a three-dimensional model of someone walking or doing other activities. From these models we can quantify their movement.

Additionally, small sensors are placed on the skin over muscles to measure the contribution of muscle activity to their movement. Very sensitive scales in the floor measure the forces the patient exerts when walking. A specialized plate in the floor is used to map the pressures on the sole of the foot during walking. A therapist performs a range of motion examination. All of this information is compiled, processed and analyzed in order to make recommendations for treatment, including orthosis, physical therapy, muscle tone management and/or surgery.

I have been scheduled for a motion analysis, upper extremity analysis or foot pressure analysis. What should I expect? How long does it take to do one of these analyses?

For a foot pressure analysis:

  • We will analyze your footprints by having you walk on a specialized pressure plate.
  • A foot pressure analysis typically takes 15-20 minutes.

For an upper extremity analysis:

  • Reflective markers will be placed on your skin and high-speed digital cameras will record the markers’ movements as you perform specific tasks.
  • We will also place sensors on your arms that measure your muscle activity (electromyography).
  • We will take video and pictures of you that are kept confidential and only shared with the physician.
  • A physical therapist or occupational therapist will perform a physical exam, which includes tests to see how flexible and strong you are.
  • An upper extremity analysis typically takes 30–45 minutes.

For a motion/gait analysis:

  • Reflective markers will be placed on your skin, and high-speed digital cameras will record the markers’ movements as you walk.
  • We will also place sensors on your body that measure your muscle activity (electromyography).
  • We will take video and pictures of you that are kept confidential and only shared with the physician.
  • A physical therapist will perform a physical exam that includes tests to identify flexibility and strength.
  • A foot pressure analysis is performed.
  • An oxygen consumption test is also performed.
    • This requires you to wear a small mask while sitting and walking to determine how much energy you use to walk.
  • A motion/gait analysis typically takes 1.5 to 3 hours.

What should I bring?

  • Shorts that allow us to see your knees, legs and waist
  • Loose fitting short sleeve or sleeveless shirt
  • Your braces and assistive devices (walker, crutches, canes, wheelchair, etc.)

What happens after I am seen?

Our team will review the information collected during your visit. A summary report, including treatment recommendations, will be written and kept in your medical chart. A follow-up visit with your doctor will be scheduled to discuss the results and recommendations.

   
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