Leaning Forward - How The Running Physio is Using Tech in the Rehab and Running World
Measuring and quantifying how humans move in a simple and cost-effective way has been a challenge across the globe since the study of movement was invented. Clinicians, researchers, athletes and weekend warriors have had to rely on expensive and cumbersome camera systems, body sensors, and complicated assessment protocols in order to be able to measure how a person moves through space - and most of these solutions are not practical in a clinic environment.
As trained physiotherapists, we are excellent at using our human eyes to watch and analyze how a person stands, walks, squats, jumps, and runs, but a common problem is a lack of sound measurement to accompany these observational assessments. What one physio might see could be missed by another depending on their experience level and specific training, and moreover, tracking changes session to session is highly subjective. Ultimately, our goal is to help people feel better, but the ability to measure and track changes makes us able to give specific exercises or cues and track if they are making a change in the right direction over time. Even in slow motion, we’re always only taking our best-educated guess as to what we think is going on.
TRP wanted to tackle this problem. We connected with a Toronto-based startup called Curv.ai who also have recognized this as a worldwide problem and have developed a (not so) simple app to provide a cost-effective, accurate solution to giving actual quantitative numbers to movements. Using advanced algorithms, we can take a 15-second clip of someone running, and see exactly how discrepant key joint angles are from left-to-right and front-to-back. From there, we can say “I want you to try to bring your cadence up by 10 bpm”, and then see how the numbers change. If it looks better and feels better - done. And if it looks worse - let’s try another avenue. When we combine these findings with our physio knowledge and assessment findings - we’ve got a pretty damn powerful tool that allows us to objectively check what’s happening and what’s changing over time.
Curv App is available right now with our physiotherapy and gait analysis appointments, and we’re going to be incorporating it into our Real Running course coming down the pipeline in the spring. So whether you're a patient looking to get the best quality analysis done in Toronto, or a clinician looking to hone in on providing top-notch assessment and treatment for your patients, be part of the forward leaning movement and come check it out.