Tracking Movement

August 22, 2017

Athletic departments are always looking for newer and better ways to keep their athletes healthy. The latest strategy being employed at the University of Maryland involves a markerless movement assessment platform from the sports tech company PhysiMax. According to ABC 2 WMAR Baltimore, the technology has lessened the number of player injuries.

“An athlete can just step in front of the camera, and they will get an assessment right away of how their body moves, and then that [allows] us to provide corrective exercise programs ... for injury prevention and also for return to play after surgeries,” said Associate Athletic Director for Sports Performance David Klossner, PhD, ATC.

“Typically, what would happen is you would be in a laboratory, and you’d have markers all over your joints and your body. What this system does is it uses a gaming camera to assess the 3-D environment around an athlete,” he continues. “With that information, it’s tied to a high-performance computer that then looks at the performance of an athlete as they are moving and looks automatically at their joints.”

Over the past two years, Maryland has been testing this platform with a small selection of teams. The results have been overwhelmingly positive, especially for the women’s volleyball team, which usually averages one or two non-contact knee or ankle injuries a year. This year, they had none.

“It’s really, really reassuring to know that I’m being trained the right way and that everything we do is for the benefit to us, and us individually, now that we have this new technology,” said outside hitter Gia Milana.

Earlier this month, Towson University also implemented the PhysiMax system. It could soon be expanding to other age groups, as Maryland is working with the company to bring this product into high schools, as well.

“Athletes are getting more information about themselves to make individual decisions. Coaches get more information about their team, their readiness to participate, [and] their ability to perform at their peak level,” said Dr. Klossner. “That’s just exciting for everybody.”

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