Force Plate technology at Move4 Physio

Force plates have always been part of the vision at Move4, as they can give insight into how your body is moving that sometimes clinical testing alone just cannot provide. 

Force plate technology is nothing new, however, it has often been far too expensive and difficult to use in a practical environment like a busy private physiotherapy clinic.

New software, and easy to use interfaces provided by our partner, VALD, mean that we are able to now integrate the utilisation of force plate technology into our assessment and management strategies related to your injury.

In order to provide you with a little more information, we have put together a short Force Plate FAQ's section below, we hope it helps to answer all of your queries.  


Force Plate FAQ's

What is a force plate?

A force plate is a metal plate the length and width of 2 size 12 adult shoes, sitting approximately 2 inches off the floor.  Our force plates (we have 2 of them) connect with a lead and are encased within a large rubber surround, which makes sure you are safe and at no risk of injury whilst performing your test.  They aren't light however, each plate weighs around 20kg.

Do I need to wear any wires or electrodes?

No, the development in the technology of these force plates means they can be transported anywhere and all of the data can be transmitted via bluetooth to our clinic iPad.  It obviously depends what test we are doing with you on the force plate, but think of it like another piece of gym equipment, it's that simple.

What do the tests involve?

It depends, but any movement you might do within your sport or everyday life can be carried out on the force plate.  Movements such as hops, jumps, drop jumps (jumping down off a step), squats, lunges, bridges, press ups and falls are part of tests we commonly carry out on force plates.

What does the result of the test tell you?

The most common things we are looking for in these tests are -

  1. How strong you are overall - we can compare with a database of hundreds of thousands of other anonymised tests using parameters such as age, gender, sport etc for comparison
  2. The difference in your strength from side to side
  3. How reactive you are - relevant for sports/activities which require unplanned change of direction or acceleration
  4. How much endurance you have in certain area - repeated hops for instance show us if you have an issue with fatigue or conditioning within a certain area of your body
  5. Your loading strategy - whether you tend to put more weight through one leg vs another for instance.  You'd be amazed at how many people are unaware of issues with this.

Does it take a long time?

No, the test can be carried out in a matter of seconds.  It may be that we extend the duration of your physio session by 15 minutes in most cases, but for more complex injuries, we may suggest a stand alone testing session.  This is to make sure that you still get the same amount of time for treatment and rehabilitation while you're in with us.  We've built our service on makjing sure you don't ever feel rushed, the same applies with this.

What does it cost?

The only cost you may see is if we need to extend the length or your session, or have you in for a specific testing session.  This will be in line with our pricing structure which you can find here.  

Do I need to wear anything specific?

Just wear what you would wear to the gym or to do exercise in.  Even normal workwear will work on most occasions, it just needs to not be restrictive and limit your ability to move properly.

How will the results effect the outcome of my treatment?

Having more objective information about your initial injury or how your strength is developing along our rehab journey together will help us to be more tailored in our approach.  For instance, the results of the tests may tell us that you are actually strong enough but you aren't able to use that strength fast enough in order to be able to hop, sprint or change direction.  Knowing this means we can progress from gross strengthening of your joint or muscle, and move more towards plyometric or faster movements/exercises.  This means we spend more of our time together doing the right things based of facts, rather than the wrong things based on clinical opinion alone.  Bringing clinical opinion together with objective data guarantees a better outcome for you in the long run.

Is it just for sporty people?

Absolutely not, we all have to experience and dissipate force on a day to day basis, and the way we manage these forces help us to stay fit and healthy.  These tests are applicable for anyone that moves, it doesn't matter if there's a ball involved or not.  Knowledge regarding how we are moving and using the forces that we create as a result of this helps us to create more accurate and specific rehab plans, getting you the results you need.

Is the force plate just for lower body issues?

No, there is some great research to support tests on the force plate as a predictor of shoulder injury, and as a gateway for return to play following surgery.  

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