Validation of Running Symmetry Using Trunk Mounted Accelerometry: Clinical Trial and Case Study


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Virginia Tech


Trunk-mounted monitoring equipment like GPSports SPIHPU units are designed to use global positioning (GPS), accelerometer and heart rate monitoring to evaluate the physical demands of an activity. A medical staff might also consider markers such as running symmetry in evaluation of injury occurrence and rehabilitation. A running symmetry is a ratio of the synchronization of the right and left lower limbs during the gait cycle. An asymmetry due to, a pathology or musculoskeletal injury, results in abnormal loading on the foot that may be detected by trunk-mounted accelerometry. The aim of this study is to evaluate the ability of SPIHPU units to detect running asymmetry. Subjects wore the HPISPU units (100Hz, 16g tri-axial accelerometer, 50Hz magnetometer) while engaged in various running activities. In the first study, artificially inducing a leg length discrepancy led to a difference between running symmetry scores. This discrepancy was confirmed using individual accelerometers attached to the lower leg near the foot. Next, varying running speed did not result in differences in running symmetry. However, the SPIHPU units did detect a running asymmetry between fatigued and non-fatigued conditions. Finally, two case studies showed that the units could identify asymmetry immediately after a lower leg injury and during rehabilitation of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. The results of this study show that the HPUSPI units can be reliably used to monitor running symmetry and to detect asymmetrical gait patterns.



Running Symmetry, Wearable Technology