Symmetry is the similarity or exact correspondence between different things. The body is in a constant struggle to maintain its own symmetry and it is an extremely useful gauge in a rehabilitation strategy.
In an attempt to perpetually maintain symmetry, the body will adapt to its deficiencies and create compensations. This is truly evident in someone with a profound scoliosis. Upon observation the scoliosis may be imperceivable, however through a detailed analysis it may be revealed. The same holds true for the entire musculoskeletal system. It is constantly adapting to the stresses it endures. Another good example of this would be the runner who complains of IT Band symptoms. Upon examination it would be common to find a pronated foot which causes their tibia (lower leg) to internally rotate, causing adduction of the femur at the knee which places additional stress on the IT band and hip stabilizers. Which of these was the “first domino?” Some clinicians, specifically Podiatrists, follow the “down-up” principal of correcting the pronation and they expect the other domino’s will fall into place. Other manual therapists follow the “up-down” principal which stresses the strengthening of the hip stabilizers to eliminate the detrimental cascade of events below. Either way, the point being that the cascade of events is the bodies way of adapting. A good clinician is the one who does not only treat the site where symptoms are manifesting, but searches for that “first domino,” and corrects the cause.
Until now, only gross observable asymmetries were able to be detected and their discovery only occurred after an injury when the patient seeks out medical attention. This is no longer the case. With new technology, “MICRO-ASYMMETRIES” are able to be detected and tracked. If an athlete trends towards asymmetry, an injury is imminent. If an athlete maintains his or her symmetry, their risk of injury is greatly reduced. The detection of these micro-asymmetries can be done with a computerized performance analysis. I am specifically speaking about the OptoJump Next system.
The OptoJump system is an optical measurement system consisting of a transmitting and receiving bar. Each of these contains from 33 to 100 LED’s, depending on the chosen resolution. The LED’s on the transmitting bar communicate continuously with those on the receiving bar. The system detects any interruptions in communication between the bars and calculates their duration. This makes it possible to measure flight and contact times during the performance of a series of jumps with an accuracy of 1/1000 of a second. Starting from this fundamental basic data, the dedicated software makes it possible to obtain a series of parameters connected to the athlete’s performance with maximum accuracy and in real time.
Optojump Next goes beyond the acquisition of numerical data: thanks to small cameras that can be positioned as desired, it allows recording of the images of the tests performed, synchronizing them perfectly with the events measured. This makes it possible to cross-check the data with the images simultaneously. The film sequences and all the other data are saved in the database. This makes it possible to review them at any moment and to make comparisons between the performances of different athletes or of the same athlete at different times.
Optojump Next makes it possible:
- to assess an athlete’s performance and physical condition
- to rapidly identify any muscular deficiencies and measure their tolerance to various work loads
- to develop customized and diversified training based on the test results
- to motivate athletes by giving them tangible proof of the progress made, thus stimulating fruitful competition inside the group
- to track the symmetry of an athlete and prevent a future injury from potentially occurring
It is an innovative system of analysis and measurement that brings a new philosophy of assessment and optimization of performance to the world of competitive sport. It is designed for the development of a specific and customized training program for the athlete, based exclusively on precise objective data. By acquiring the fundamental characteristics of an individual’s performance and physical condition, Optojump Next allows coaches, trainers and researchers to constantly test and monitor their athletes. This makes it possible to ascertain the abilities or physical fitness of an athlete in a simple and immediate way.
True Sport Care of Nesconset is excited to be one of the first clinics on Long Island to offer this cutting edge technology securing their distinction as the leading sports injury treatment and prevention facility in the area. Visit the Optojump Next website for more information and to find a facility near you.