One of the most effective ways to study how people walk or otherwise move their bodies is through motion analysis. Using specialized cameras, computer technology captures and measures muscle activity, joint motion and forces, and pressure under the feet during walking.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab offers this sophisticated assessment for children and adults at the Computerized Motion Analysis, the only clinical center of its kind in the Chicago metropolitan area and one of the few in the United States that serves both children and adults with gait and movement disorders.
Many of the patients assessed are children, but the equipment, techniques, and staff at AbilityLab have proven invaluable in the examination of other diagnoses that may develop later in childhood or in adulthood.
What Is Motion Analysis?
Patients first undergo a thorough physical exam to measure the range of motion available in the joints and the strength of the muscles of the upper or lower extremities. Then markers covered with a special tape are placed on specific anatomical landmarks on the legs and/or arms along with little “muscle microphones” (electrodes).
Cameras track the movements of the markers as the patient moves, and electrodes record the activity and coordination of specific muscle groups that produce or control the movement. It may take as many as 10-20 trials to record the person’s natural movement.
We will results to your physician, including both a written report and a CD with animation that reproduces the patient's movements during the test.
Preparing to Your Appointment
- Wear Comfortable Clothing (Elastic waist shorts, T-shirt/Tank top/Sports Bra)
- Braces and/or Assistive Devices (if applicable)
- Insurance/Medical Card
- Prescription from referring physician
- Completed Questionnaire (included in the confirmation package)
If you’re a patient ready to make an appointment, please call us at 312-238-1447, or fill out the form below. If you’re a physician looking to refer a patient to CMA Lab, please visit our Clinician’s page for referral information.