The objective of this technical paper is to demonstrate how graphing kinematic data to represent body segment coordination and control can assist clinicians and researchers in understanding typical and aberrant human movement patterns. Aberrant movements are believed to be associated with musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. A dynamical systems approach to analysing movement provides a useful way to study movement control and coordination. Continuous motion angle-angle and coupling angle-movement cycle graphs provide information about coordinated movement between body segments, whereas phase-plane graphs provide information about neuromuscular control of a body segment. Examples demonstrate how a dynamical systems approach can be used to represent (1) typical movement patterns of the lumbopelvic and shoulder regions; (2) aberrant coordination in an individual with low back pain who presented with altered lumbopelvic rhythm; and (3) aberrant control of shoulder movement in an individual with observed scapular dysrhythmia. Angle-angle and coupling angle-movement cycle graphs were consistent with clinical operational definitions of typical and altered lumbopelvic rhythm. Phase-plane graphs illustrated differences in scapular control between individuals having typical scapular motion and an individual with scapular dysrhythmia. Angle-angle, coupling angle-movement cycle, and phase-plane graphs provide information about the amount and timing of segmental motion, which clinicians assess when they observe movements. These approaches have the potential to (1) enhance understanding of typical and aberrant movement patterns; (2) assist with identifying underlying movement impairments that contribute to aberrant movements: and (3) improve clinicians' ability to visually assess and categorize functional movements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation