Sports medicine researchers use highspeed motion analysis camera systems to study the kinematics of sports such as baseball, golf, tennis, and soccer. Instrumented biomechanical studies of specific movements in these sports have enabled investigators to divide the motion into phases and identify where, when, and how injuries occur during specific sports movements. Dancers are highly trained athletes who are required to perform repetitive, consistent movements at joint range of motion extremes. However, kinematic or kinetic descriptions of these movements are extremely limited.

Unlike the general public, relatively minor injuries in dancers and the elderly (our two target populations) can present a challenge to their work and daily life activities. Minor injuries in dancers result in significant financial cost, both to the individual and the dance company, as a result of their being unable to perform in their profession. A similar injury in the elderly may result in lost functional independence, either temporarily or permanently.

Eighty percent of all professional dancers will suffer an injury that will affect their ability to perform. At least 50% of dancers in larger ballet companies and 40% in smaller companies will have injuries that prevent them from dancing in scheduled performances in any given year. The injury rate is higher in dance than in any professional sport. All large and small dance companies have an urgent need to reduce the quantity, frequency and severity of injuries to dancers.

Musculoskeletal pathology in the form of orthopedic impairments and arthritis is the underlying cause of 40% of activity limitations in all age groups within the US, resulting in an annual cost of greater than $36 billion. The probability of bone fracture approaches 50% in elderly women; with mortality rates of 25% following a hip fracture. To date, one of the most effective interventions for the elderly is appropriate exercise.

The ADAM Center is determined to reduce the drastic human and financial cost associated with injuries in these two groups by identifying the links between movement, training, and function. Through our instrumented biomechanical studies of movements, we will develop programs to enhance the individual's resources by maximizing movement potential, minimizing injury costs, and promoting general well-being.


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