by Sasha Kolbeck, MPT, DPT, OCS, COMT
The BodiTrak pressure mat is one tool that provides helpful objective metrics during the physical therapy evaluation and treatment to assess, cue, and retrain movements, including weight shift, time to stabilize for balance, and squatting through the use of video, real-time biofeedback, and metrics. These data help to improve mechanics, decrease injury risk, improve muscle patterns, and increase function. Progressing only through open and closed chain exercise and movements provides quantity of work completed; however, is it quality movement, as completing the exercise alone does not let us know if the patient is continuing to compensate?
At Rose City Physical Therapy, we have incorporated the BodiTrak pressure mat for clinical decision-making to guide the lower and upper extremity patients’ progression for discharge criteria to decrease compensatory patterns and increase function.
We need measurements that provide data that is not visible without sensors and technology to provide data analysis and outcomes. Some of the recommended metrics are the Rate of Force Development (RFD), Dynamic Vertical Force (DVF), and Ground Reaction Force (GRF).
- RFD is how quickly you can generate force
- DVF is relative to the force of a person’s body weight
- GRF is the magnitude of force generated on a surface
These metrics provide a detailed objective picture of the patient’s function. A squat can look symmetric, but data will give a different, more true picture. Patients often compensate and off-load or alter loading on the surgical leg or injured extremity. This asymmetry can continue throughout activities of daily living unless discovered and corrected. And if not corrected, compensations can lead to delayed recovery, re-injury, compensations or problems at adjacent joints in the kinetic chain, and decreased activity tolerance.
With all the effort put into physical therapy through treatment progressions, reassessment, modification, and the patient’s clinic and home exercises, the same attention and focus are needed with discharge decisions. Objective data and metric-based performance indicators assure optimal rehabilitation and inform the decision for readiness for the real world.
Examples of patients who benefit from BodiTrak testing and training include lower extremity post-operative procedures such as Total knee replacement, total hip replacement, ankle arthroplasty, and hip, knee, and ankle arthroscopies, and fractures. Data informs us if the patient is offloading, altering weight distribution through the feet, needing increased time to stabilize, and prolonged weight bear. BodiTrak can help add to the visual analysis of balance and squats.
Christiansen et al., in 2015 and 2011, researched patients post TKA for weight-bearing asymmetry with functional activity. Results showed more significant asymmetry is associated with more unsatisfactory functional performance for up to 6 months post-op. Talis and company in 2008 also showed weight-bearing asymmetry exists post-op THA with sit to stand. Physical therapy treatment should include addressing this asymmetry, especially with sit to stand to increase function. Kneiss et al. in 2015 showed decreased vertical ground reaction force post-hip fracture. Finally, Esbjornsson and Nailii, in 2020, based on their findings, recommend physical therapy should normalize weight loads in the first three months post-op to increase function.
Stay tuned for our BodiTrak Part 2 article in the next issue of Physician Update, which will detail the patient athlete and use of BodiTrak for return to sport decisions and performance.
Contact Rose City Physical Therapy 503.228.1306 and speak to Sasha Kolbeck, DPT, with any questions about the BodiTrak pressure mat or schedule a FREE 20-minute discovery session with the BodiTrak to see what the technology can offer your patients.
For details and more information on the BodiTrak Pressure Mat, scan the following QR Code to visit the BodiTrak website.