Scientifically Measuring Movement and Muscle Activity to Treat Back Pain

How the World's Top Athletes Measure, Avoid and Treat Back Pain

  • What are the latest technologies and treatments for back pain used by major football clubs including São Paulo FC, Man United and West Brom, Aussie international cricketers and top track athletes?
  • How can all patients now also get access to these elite medical approaches?
  • What can doctors and patients learn from the approach adopted with elite athletes?
  • How can back pain patients benefit from these advanced medical technologies?
  • What patients are saying - Bob Laybourne
Top athletes are a huge investment and they therefore get access to the very best physiotherapy and musculo-skeletal medical services available. Movement sensor technology from dorsaVi is being used by elite clubs around the world, ensuring that professional athletes receive the best possible and bespoke care by accurately and objectively measuring their movement.  Objective data is a powerful tool to help guide the most appropriate interventions and measure the outcome.
The good news is that this latest high technology spine and musculo-skeletal wearable sensor system is now also available to all patients via specialist physicians and physios.

Accurately Assessing You and Your Back Pain (Motion Analysis)

The reason why treating back pain can be challenging is that everybody's movement pattern is different. Your spine motion is as unique as your fingerprint, but unlike fingerprints until now spine motion has been difficult to record and assess in the normal clinical setting.

In an effort to protect, pain often causes different parts of the back to lock up or become less flexible. Resting areas of the spine may be useful in the short term to allow inflammation to take it's course and for natural repair, but if normal motion is restricted for longer periods the muscles will get weaker, providing less protection and the discs can start to degenerate. The overall result is a deteriorating posture. In this scenario, areas of the back become more prone to damage, there will be increasing pain and the patient will become increasingly less able or motivated to get on top of the pain and to start a process of rehabilitation. For further information Dr Nigel Kellow explains the full process in his article - The Ageing Spine.

How to Objectively Measure Spine Motion and Back Pain

Therefore assessing how you move, objectively measuring your movement restrictions and accurately recording this is the correct starting point. This is the essential information required to inform how to manage your pain and to improve the way that you move. The baseline spine biostatistics then also provide an objective way to monitor and manage on-going rehabilitation - with scientifically measurable improvements. See video.

ViMove is an easy to use device that records pain and measures movement, posture and muscle activity both in and out of the clinic.

By getting a 'fingerprint' of activity and pain throughout the day, appropriately tailored interventions can then be suggested and progress can be accurately monitored.

If back movement is not objectively measurable, how do you improve it?

For the first time there is now a wireless technology that can demonstrate unique movement patterns. These patterns can be tracked and compared over time. The reports generated can be referred between your GP, physio, surgeon or other specialist. It is now possible to quantify the data on each patient and analyse areas of deficiency as well as identify 'at risk' behaviors that may be causing lumbar damage. Appropriate interventions can then be proposed to improve posture and pain free motion in patients, as well as optimizing performance in top athletes.

Back Pain according to your Lifestyle

  • Whether you are a top athlete, spend most of your day in front of a computer or suffer from back pain in your normal day-to-day activities; measuring the quantity and quality of your movement patterns is one the fundamental building blocks to accurate and sustainable assessment and ultimately, rehabilitation. This can now be done objectively.
  • In the workplace, it is now possible to assess workplace safety and to evaluate back motion during particular tasks. Using dorsaVi wearable sensor technology, your occupational health practitioners are now able to objectively monitor workplace behaviors, identify risky activities and therefore suggest improvements to reduce the risk of injuries.
  • In the clinical setting, the wireless biomechanical and electrophysiological technology is allowing the doctor to thoroughly assess each patient on an individual basis.
  • For athletes the new technology allows physiotherapists to objectively screen and identify an athlete’s risk of injury, characterise each individual athlete's technique with immediate biofeedback as well as test recovery and rehabilitation protocols

The Professional Football Physiotherapist

A number of major English football clubs including Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion now use the dorsaVi biosensor technology to support their players and to achieve top levels of performance. Steve Wright, a well-respected and leading premier league physiotherapist, formerly at West Bromwich Albion and now at Southampton FC,  uses dorsaVi sensors, to scientifically test the following functionalities in players:

Low Back,

  • Running,
  • Hamstring,
  • Core Control and
  • Knee Stability testing.

Steve describes his use of ViPerform when rehabilitating players and making return to sport decisions, and says, “People move differently and our methods for assessing movement outside of a lab-based environment are frequently quite subjective, however, there is technology available to greatly increase our objectivity and this is essential to improving our understanding of athletic movement and aberrant movement patterns or substitution strategies which frequently exist post injury, ViPerform quantifies movement and by putting hard and fast numbers to our assessment means we can adopt a scientific approach, establish reliable baselines and measure progress or change in a valid and reliable way, in a clinic or field-based environment.”

Steve goes on to explain how the wireless biosensor system measure, "critical parameters within dynamic stabilisation tests, landing mechanics, and ground reaction forces on the field of play. VIPerform brings reliability and objectivity to movement assessment,"

Assessing Elite Athlete Performance at Sau Paulo FC

Sao Paulo FC Sports Rehabilitation and Physiotherapist, Ricardo Sasaki has invested in the latest technology including dorsaVi’s ViPerform. The kit is used to evaluate the players readiness for return to play via hamstring, knee, and running assessments. Some of the top players including Ricardo Kaká (pictured) ,now intergrate the ViPerform system into their gym program and outdoor exercise sessions.

Australia Cricket's Secret Weapon

Fast bowlers are particularly prone to back and other injuries. Following injury, fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is now using the biosensor technology from dorsaVi as an integral part of his rehabilitation and claims that it has, "Saved his career". The technology identifies inappropriate or harmful motions so that they can be rectified before they become an issue.  Furthermore, the cause of any injury that does occur can be accurately assessed so that appropriate interventions are then put in place as soon as possible.

The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
The body’s response to injury. Full medical glossary
An element present in haemoglobin in the red cells. Full medical glossary
The part of the back between the lowest ribs and the top of the pelvis. Full medical glossary
Tissue made up of cells that can contract to bring about movement. Full medical glossary
A healh professional who specialises in physical therapies, such as exercise, massage and manipulation. Full medical glossary
The use of physical therapies such as exercise, massage and manipulation. Full medical glossary
Lying face-downwards. Full medical glossary
The treatment of a person with an illness or disability to improve their function and health. Full medical glossary

Direct Access for Patients

A number of the leading Harley Street sports physicians, including Dr Ralph Rogers are now providing the full dorsaVi biosensor applications for the benefit of their patients. Dr Rogers is an International Specialist Consultant in Sports and Musculoskeletal Medicine practising at the London Sports Injury Clinic and 108 Harley Street. He specialises in sports medicine, exercise physiology, soft tissue injuries and orthopaedic medicines and was previously the Sports Physician to Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the Medical Advisor for the Trinidad & Tobago World Cup Football Team.

Click here to fix an appointment for a dorsaVi motion analysis assessment or to ask a question.

What Patients are Saying

Bob Laybourne, a patient who suffered from years of chronic back pain to the point where he was unable to carry out everyday activities such as collecting the mail. Even showering and going to the bathroom became difficult without the help of an aid. Mr Laybourne had tried everything from anti-inflammatory medication to acupuncture but it was ViMove that helped him understand his condition and correct his posture during everyday activities.

“ViMove taught me how to stand, how to walk and how to position myself when sitting or getting in and out of the car,” said Mr Laybourne. “ViMove made me feel secure in that if I was overstretching or overreaching the device would alert me to the fact I was pushing myself too far. It has been just over two years since I was treated with ViMove and I am completely pain free. I sleep well, live well, am able to lift heavy objects and help my son with his footy training, and I wake up the next morning pain free,”

A complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. Full medical glossary
Any drug that suppresses inflammation Full medical glossary
A disease of long duration generally involving slow changes. Full medical glossary
A pale yellow or green,creamy fluid found at the site of bacterial infection. Full medical glossary
A group of cells with a similar structure and a specialised function. Full medical glossary