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Motion Analysis Software

Motion Analysis Software

Michelle Millner, PT, DPT, OCS


I recently attended a lecture series discussing the use of motion analysis software in the assessment of throwing mechanics of baseball pitchers.  It was a really informative lecture and I was intrigued by the use of motion analysis to fix poor mechanics. However, I wondered what sorts of professionals were using this technology and in what capacity. Turns out anyone can use this software as you can simply download an app for your phone or tablet.

This is scary stuff for two reasons:

1) There is little evidence to clearly define what proper mechanics are for specific sport motions (throwing a football, baseball, tennis swing, etc).

2) The vast majority of trainers and so-called specialists, don’t actually study the literature that is available, which means the interpretation of the analysis is going to vary vastly between every person who uses the software.


Motion analysis is really useful and helpful in seeing problems with mechanics and I encourage patients/clients to seek out providers who have been properly trained for the assessments, but it’s worth really checking into the qualifications of the provider of these services and particularly the interpretation of the results.  Below is a list of things to consider before choosing a motion analysis service provider.

First, clearly look into the training of the person using the motion analysis.  Is this someone with extensive training in kinesiology and biomechanics?  Second, what kind of training in motion analysis has this person had?  Did they simply attend a weekend course or have they had lots of experience utilizing the software and interpreting for clients/patients. Third, What are your goals for wanting your motion analyzed?  Are you a recreational athlete or a serious competitor?  Fourth, what kind of software is being utilized?  Is it an iPad app or an advanced software like Dartfish or SportsCAD. Some iPad apps are actually very advanced and allow for advanced analysis that shed light on common problems.  However, for in depth looks at sports performance sometimes a more advance software is necessary when less advanced analysis does not shed light on the problem.

Here at Professional Physical Therapy and Training, we utilize motion analysis using iPad applications.  We are able to detect gross motor limitations, but what really distinquishes our abiltily to help people overcome injuries and functional limitations, is the level of training each of our therapists have achieved. We are all orthopedic clinical specialists, the training for which is very extensive in human anatomy and the biomechanics during functional movement.

If you have concerns about your mechanics or have a chronic problem that might stem from a movement related problem, consider scheduling an evaluation.  Please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit us.


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