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  • Writer's pictureJared

Case Study: How 3-D Motion Capture Can be Used to Identify Injuries In Baseball

Earlier this week I was going over hitting assessments with one of the local travel teams in my area. As we were reviewing results, I had a interesting case that highlights how 3D motion capture can be used for injury and rehabilitation. The pictures below are from the results of the K Motion 3-D analysis of one of the athletes we assessed:

While reviewing the results of the K Motion 3D results it was revealed the athlete had suffered an injury (non traumatic) which eventually required surgery. Based on the information can you guess where the injury occurred? The Wrist! Look at the images above in the kinematic sequence graph (image 1) and the speed gain numbers (image 2). As you can see in the first picture, the gold graph (the wrists/bat) is significantly larger than all the other graphs. When we look at the speed gain numbers you can see minimal speed gain from his pelvis to his torso and from the torso to his arms. His main power source by a long shot is his wrists! When this is so out of proportion you are asking for an injury to develop at the area that is doing all the work. In this case it was the wrists!

OnBaseU Hitting Screen Results

Next we looked at the athlete's OnBaseU hitting screen. The areas that the player struggled with were lower body mobility and stability and core control. Upper body testing was unremarkable. After a brief discussion with the player it was clear that his rehab didn’t take this into consideration. Now that he has had surgery and is returning play, the same patterns that caused the injury in the first place are still present and likely putting the player at an increased risk of suffering another injury. This isn’t meant to put to any of the professionals down as injuries and pain are complex and multifactorial and hind sight is always 20/20. It's also possible the athlete had other more glaring impairments in the upper body which were causing him pain that have since been addressed. However, after looking at these results I can't help but think that the dysfunction in the lower half and core was playing a significant factor in regards to the injury. It is so easy to get focused on just the source/location of the pain, that you can forget to look at the athlete as a whole. By using systems such as the SFMA, FMS and the OnBaseU screening and 3-D motion Capture, you get a clear picture on how everything functions together to help guide decision making and make sure something doesn't get missed.

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