The Sports Reaction Center (SRC), Bellevue, Wash, reports that it often attracts elite and professional athletes due to its use of innovative technology such as the OptoJump, Microgate USA, Mahopac, NY. Among SRC’s clientele are members from Club Northwest’s track and cross-country teams, and one team member recently accomplished notable results with the OptoJump.

Neil Chasan, PT, MMT, SRC’s founder, says the 36-year-old, 5,000-meter competitor was determined as fit and healthy, but was experiencing nonspecific hip pain that hampered her performance. “Her physical exam showed a very subtle local weakness of her right hip muscles that most people who tested her did not pick up, but even so I was skeptical that this subtle weakness could account for her complaint,” Chasan says.

Based on this observation, Chasan then performed functional tests using OptoJump, including gait analysis, leg jumps, lateral jumps, acceleration tests, and stop-and-go tests. 

Chasan describes the OptoJump as “analysis technology, which blends race timing and light gathering technology with video offering data about how the foot interacts with the ground.” The technology features an optical measurement system made of a transmitting and receiving bar and two video cameras. It reportedly shows function at shutter speeds of 1/250th of a second and records data in milliseconds.

Along with providing data about the patient’s asymmetry, the OptoJump’s video analysis of the various dynamic functional movements and the patient’s gait revealed that “she was actually failing to support her pelvis in the frontal plane under her body weight.”

Chasan concludes that, “The subtle weakness we found during her physical exam in a non-weight-bearing posture actually became a profound functional deficit that interfered with her ability to perform at full capacity during full weight bearing.” He was able to explain this to the patient and recommend exercises that could help improve her performance.  

[Source: Sports Reaction Center]