In this mini blog + vlog post we'll examine how quickly we can measure shoulder flexion and shoulder extension in the sagittal plane using the EuMotus markerless motion capture (mocap) system. The article is intended for practicing physical therapists who treat patients in clinic, and will therefore focus on health use cases that aid in improving health outcomes. ~Two (2) minute measuring shoulder flexion range of motion video is at the bottom of the mini-article.
The main purpose of the shoulder sagittal flexion & extension test is to check for active range of motion (AROM). In addition to AROM, the clinician can also use the graph and video view mode to learn more about their patient's muscular patterning.
For example, is the patient moving in an uniform or consistent way, or are there discontinuities in their movement? Is the patient exhibiting movement instabilities, such as shoulder elevation (or shoulder hike), which could be linked to scapular elevation? While we don't observe the scapula directly, our clients have advised that they use shoulder elevation as a proxy for scapular elevation.
In the video below we'll see Lynn perform three repetitions of a left shoulder flexion & extension exercise in the sagittal plane. The movement takes tens of seconds. As soon as the movement is done, we jump into a summary of the maximum shoulder AROM achieved in both directions, and then look under the hood in the graph & video mode. In the graph & video mode the clinician is able to quickly plot metrics of interest vs. time.
For example, the clinician can plot shoulder sagittal AROM plotted in parallel with a problematic movement pattern such as shoulder elevation.
The clinician can also choose to evaluate each side, and compare the affected to the non-affected side - i.e. check for shoulder flexion a/symmetry.
Another way in which EuMotus #physicaltherapy clients use EuMotus clinical mocap is to create a baseline at day 0, and check if there is progress at visit X or day Y.
"Ohhhh, now I see it..."
In addition to helping the clinician record and track rehabilitation progress, some if not most EuMotus clinicians choose to use EuMotus clinical mocap tool as a way to engage and educate their clients. Generally for most patients, our PT clients have advised that the traffic light summary screen - red light, yellow light, green light, the suggested muscle imbalances map, and the video playback gets most patients excited. The PT can then use this moment of excitement and the mocap tool as a supplementary tool to explain the movement issues at hand, as well as the importance of completing the rehabilitation program.
Have questions on how you might apply markerless mocap to your clinic? Send us a note at hello / at / eumotus / com.