Does your young athlete want to take his game to the next level? Is he struggling to find the right rhythm for his swing, pitch, jump or serve? Are pain and recurrent injuries limiting her endurance, accuracy or speed?
Akron Children’s Hospital’s Sports Medicine Rehabilitation team offers a new service to help athletes enhance their performance: 3-D motion analysis conducted as a collaboration between sports-trained physical therapists and a sports-focused biomechanical engineer.
“We are the first facility in Ohio to offer this 3-D technology to study and analyze an athlete’s performance in a comprehensive new way,” said Mindy Bragg, a physical therapist in Children’s Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. “This is a wonderful opportunity for dedicated and serious baseball and softball players, soccer and tennis players, runners, and other athletes to get valuable, objective information to help improve their performance.”
The process begins with Akron Children’s sports-trained physical therapists taking a medical history and performing a musculoskeletal screen with a functional activity assessment. Next, using the 3-D technology, the team will shoot video of the athlete performing sports-specific activities in a typical sports environment.
With the assistance of a sports-focused biomechanical engineer with more than 20 years of experience, the team will analyze the athlete’s movements, such as gross motor patterns, sequencing and inefficiencies.
For example, an analysis of a baseball batter will capture details missed by the causal observation, such as hip and shoulder rotational speed, maximum bat speed, bat speed at impact, and the coordination of the entire kinetic chain.
“By comparing the athlete’s movements to collective elite performance data, we can identify inefficiencies in movement patterns,” said Bragg.
Based on the findings, the team will develop a personalized program focused on the athlete’s specific training and conditioning needs. A physical therapist will review the recommended exercises and guide the athlete through an individualized home training program.
Each participant receives a report outlining the findings and including the video analysis and prescribed plan of action, which may include stretches and exercises to improve overall flexibility, strength, balance and sports-specific moves and skills.
The program costs $350, which includes all appointments with the athlete, including the videotaped session and follow-up meeting to discuss the results. Group discounts are available for several athletes, such as team members performing the same activity.
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