A new gait analysis and running injury clinic is opening in Oxford University, England today. The first 'patient' of Run 3D is English long distance runner Jo Pavey. And while the setting is different, the technology and biomechanical approach should be very familiar to Canadian runners.
Run 3D is a member of a new research collaboration with the University of Calgary's Running Injury Clinic. The collaboration, which also includes AUT University in Auckland and The Ohio State University, shares the Running Injury Clinic database, technology and approach to treating runners and advancing running injury research.
"I'm thrilled of course," says Reed Ferber, PhD, the director of the Running Injury Clinic in the Faculty of Kinesiology. "First of all having our approach and technology in other countries will means that our Running Injury Clinic database will grow exponentially in the coming years. The combined research expertise of my colleagues in England, the U.S. and New Zealand, combined with this expanded research data base will revolutionize running research."
The clinics will use Ferber's 3D camera system with reflective markers to create a 3D biomechanical computer model of an athlete's running style. Several cameras record the positions of each marker position 200 times a second, for a total of 12,000 images of the markers in just one minute of running. Most digital cameras collect data 50 times a second. Using the data and the Running Injury Clinic's analysis methods, clinicians can pinpoint a patient's biomechanical weakness, and prescribe a targeted regimen of strengthening and stretching exercises that will correct their stride and prevent future injury.
Every patient treated by the clinics adds to the database, which improves the diagnostic model and refines treatment protocols. Ferber hopes to expand the research network to several other locations in the United States and across Canada in the coming year.