Monday, November 18, 2019

The Evolving Knowledge of Movement - Part I - What We Know Now

As you may know, I have been involved in movement assessment for the last 20+ years.  This all started back in the late 90s where I was filming people with video cameras with Beta tapes as they performed a series of movements.  Overtime, that progressed to the use of slow motion video technology and from there to the use of the MS Kinect based technology.  After being frustrated with the lack of accuracy, inefficiency and inability to adapt to mass athletic physicals, I began seeking out other technologies to accomplish this task.  That is when I found an innovative wearable sensor technology, DorsaVi and was able to partner then to try to accomplish our vision.

In late 2016, we launched a commercial product to the market called the DorsaVi ViPerform AMI (Athletic Movement Index).  This system leverages DorsaVi's wearable sensor technology to capture athletic movement during a series of core, bilateral and single limb tasks (squatting to multi-directional hops).  Since its launch, we have been using this system in clinical settings, strength and conditioning settings, mass physicals (professional and collegiate) and for objectifying movement and risk for return to play.

This blog series is not about the ViPerform AMI system but more about what we are learning from collecting over 1000 data points/assessment on over 14,000+ athletes across the US.  That is 14,000,000 data points or broken down that is movement data on over 1,000,000 reps, 39,000 minutes of core testing, and demographic variables on >14,000 athletes.  The beauty of capturing data at this level is that you begin to see correlations and trends that we did not previously know existed or maybe that you suspected existed.  Knowing this can further guide what we can do to address those trends in our training or rehabilitation. The intent of this series is to share what we are learning and to provide the reader with some actionable training techniques we have seen that impact these trends.

One of the things that we assess is how stable is the athlete in a single leg squat, single leg hop and a single leg hop plant (an explosive hop forward, back, lateral and medial).  During these motions, we measure how much tibial inclination do you have (this is an indirect measure of your dorsiflexion), how much frontal plane motion do you have (varus to valgus), if your knee falls into valgus, what speed does it occur at and how many times do you loose balance.  From this information alone, we have learned a lot.  Some of the things we have learned are:

  • Variance by level of play - when collecting mass movement data on Division I athletes versus Division II and III, we see some significant differences in stability in single limb testing.  Comparing same sport, DI athletes had much better control than Division II who had better control than Division III.  Specifically, Division I athletes had better control of the amount of frontal plane motion (varus to valgus), speed of motion and loss of balance.  In retrospect this makes a lot of sense as this would have a direct impact on the athlete's overall performance and may be an indication of why they are a Division I athlete vs. Division III.
  • Variance by gender - when comparing male athletes to female athletes of the same sport and level of play, we see that female athletes have slightly more frontal plane motion and slightly higher speeds of valgus.  No significant difference was noted with loss of balance.  This could be one more reason that female athletes are more susceptible to injury.
  • Variance by sport - when comparing athletes at the same level of play (Division I or II) that play different sports (soccer vs. volleyball), you see a big difference in the amount of frontal plane control based on the sport you play.  Soccer players, by far, had much better control in single limb performance than most sports we assess.  

Is that it?  Not even close.  Next week, we will continue this discussion about what we are learning about movement with mass data capture THEN start to dive in on how we improve based on our correctives.  Stay tuned as I am super excited to share with you.  If you enjoy this blog, please share with your colleagues, athletes and training partners and please be sure to follow us on instagrm @ bjjpt_acl_guy and twitter @acl_prevention.  Train hard and stay well.  #ViPerformAMI #ACLPlayItSafe

Dr. Nessler is a practicing physical therapist with over 20 years sports medicine clinical experience and a nationally recognized expert in the area of athletic movement assessment and ACL injury prevention.  He is the founder | developer of the ViPerform AMI,  ViPerform AMI RTPlay, the ACL Play It Safe Program, Run Safe Program and author of a college textbook on this subject.  Trent has performed >5000 athletic movement assessments in the US and abroad.  He serves as the National Director of Sports Medicine Innovation for Select Medical, is Vice Chairman of Medical Services for USA Obstacle Racing and movement consultant for numerous colleges and professional teams.  Trent has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 5 years and complete BJJ junkie. 

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