Software for iPad detects physical problems, pain

Spark Motion motion analysis software helps trainers identify sources of pain and motion problems. (WTOP/Sarah Weimar)

WASHINGTON – “Let’s go to the video tape” has been a catchphrase in sports for decades.

A local company has modernized the use of video to analyze an athlete’s range of motion to reduce physical pain and improve performance.

Spark Motion is motion analysis software, designed to be used on tablet computers.

Capturing video on an iPad application, Spark Motion founder David Gottfeld says the technology helps athletes and their trainers analyze hard-to-identify problems.

“We look at muscular compensations, inefficiencies in the body that cause pain, and dysfunction,” says Gottfeld.

“We have the ability to slow movement down, look at the sequencing of movements, then design specific programs that will correct those imbalances,” says Gottfeld.

Demonstrating how the product works, Gottfeld put WTOP Health and Fitness reporter Paula Wolfson through a series of exercises, including walking and lunges, to help analyze her gait problem.

By slowing down and stopping video and superimposing graphs that demonstrate alignment, Gottfeld is often able to determine the root of an athlete’s pain, by showing the athlete’s overcompensation while exercising.

Gottfeld says a trainer who uses Spark Motion is able to share the video with the athlete and physicians through Cloud storage.

Videotape has long been used to help document an athlete’s technique, but Gottfeld says athletes benefit from viewing the marked-up video, complete with arrows highlighting problem areas.

“When they can see themselves compensating, when the video plays they see it they’re like ‘oh,'” says Gottfeld.

After the exercise session, Gottfeld used the software to prepare a shareable video, with his analysis:

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