Gait analysis and the GRAVITY system

As part of our commitment to fully exploring the positive benefits of using the GRAVITY system, we carried out a series of research projects.

One of the projects involved a patient with a ten-year history of low back pain. We wanted to test the extent to which GRAVITY could improve his posture, and the effect that this would have on his levels of pain. 

The photos below show him on the Chattanooga Huber 360 Neuromuscular assessment system.

Researcher:

  • Cliff Eaton, MSC PGC MCSP, Chartered Physiotherapist

Before using GRAVITY, the patient can be seen bent over to the right-hand side.

After using GRAVITY, the patient has a more upright posture. 

The Huber system is useful because of its force sensors built into the platform and handles, which collect data relating to the patients’ strength, coordination, balance capacity, and mobility restriction.

The data from this is displayed in the two graphs, which show the range of pain-free movement in his lumbar spine.

Before using GRAVITY, the graph shows that this is unevenly distributed. This can lead the patient to favour one side of his body over the other, which can cause more problems, and does not give pain the opportunity to disperse.

After using GRAVITY, the graph shows a more even distribution and a greater range of pain-free movement than before using the device.

We also used gait analysis technology as part of our device testing.

This studies the way that the body reacts and behaves, usually during a forward movement such as walking. When you walk, this generates different forces.

The ground reaction force is the amount of force exerted on the body in reaction to your foot landing on the floor.

The pink line on the charts below show the distribution of the ground reaction force throughout the body.

Analysis shows that before using GRAVITY, the pink line is not very symmetrical, which means that the ground reaction forces were all being transmitted through his right side.    

After using GRAVITY, the force distribution was equalled out between the left and right sides of the body.

A more central distribution of force means that there is not just one part of the body doing all the work, and therefore getting tired more quickly and experiencing more pain.

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