Using a selfie video for motion analysis

A selfie video can enhance motion analysis for the diagnosis and intervention of painful musculoskeletal injury, for injury prevention, and for enhancing movement performance.

A selfie video is a video recording that you take of yourself, also called a velifie

A selfie video can:   

Provide opportunities for reflective self-learning.

Provide visual data regarding comparing the way you move to the way of a hypothesized optimal/ideal movement. It is easy to search the internet for a video example of the movement/sport that you are striving to achieve. Comparing your selfie video against an Olympian or expert performer.

Document your movement performance. Compare the visual data over time to document either improvement or deterioration of the quality of movement. Share a selfie video with your healthcare provider. To better communicate the progress or lack of progress you or your significant other is showing recovering from musculoskeletal pain syndrome or neurological disease. Many of the electronic medical record systems' patient portals allow the uploading of a photo. Hopefully in the future electronic medical record systems will allow uploading a video file.

Provide data for self-analysis and development of working hypotheses of contributing factors of musculoskeletal pain syndromes. This blog article provides more detail on how to use selfie videos for symptom modification procedure.

Provide visual feedback to facilitate motor learning to alter the manner of movement towards a more optimal movement, pain-free, with less energy expenditure.

This young lady below is 15 months after a right total knee replacement. The selfie video provides evidence of the incomplete extension of the right knee.

The selfie video below shows the results of her utilizing the verbal cue "imagine pushing a ballow away from the back of your knee with each step"

She was able to alter the gait deviation of insufficient knee extension. She used the mantra when walking “Push balloon away.”

Provide visual data to share with a healthcare professional or coach for motion analysis and coaching. As an example, a veteran marathon runner with recurring calf strain is given verbal cueing/prompting to alter the running form. After a week of practice, she uploads a selfie video, and I can adjust the intervention.

For the healthcare professional a selfie video can:

Capture real-world data of how the client moves to improve the validity of motion analysis. As an example, a high school cross country runner with IT band syndrome during a slow-motion video analysis at the initial PT evaluation identified gait deviations of foot crossing the mid-line of the body, and asymmetrical trunk rotation. After the first PT visit his dad retrieved and shared with me a video recording of his son at the finish of a cross-country race. There was NO evidence of foot crossing the mid-line nor asymmetrical trunk rotation. There was evidence of significant valgus thrust of the knee and internal rotation of the hip and tilting of the pelvis. A change of the initial intervention recommendations is necessary. I gave different verbal cues to alter gait deviations to the runner during the follow-up visit. This is an example of a selfie video that can improve the validity of motion analysis.

To improve the efficiency of client services, the client can collect visual data outside of allotted office visit time, so the clinician’s time is spent on analysis rather than data collection. As an example, a veteran marathon runner with recurring calf strain, during the initial evaluation we did not have enough time to collect a video recording of her preferred manner of running. Instructions to collect a selfie video of running form after her regularly scheduled training session when she was in a fatigued state. She uploaded the selfie video to a secure site. I performed slow-motion video analysis sharing the results via telecommunication with specific verbal cueing to alter observed gait deviations.

The above patient used verbal cueing to successfully alter gait deviations. She collected additional selfie videos to provide feedback demonstrating a more optimal running form. This is an example of how selfie videos can enhance the ability to monitor response to treatment/intervention.

A selfie video can improve the quality of telehealth visits. During a telehealth visit a video recording can capture the movements of the patient. The clinician can analyze the video after the telehealth visit. At the follow-up visit the healthcare professional can share motion analysis, and appropriate verbal cueing/prompting on how the patient can alter the deviant movements.

A barrier to typical telehealth visits is being able to adequately observe patients’ functional movements of walking, jumping, lifting, and moving. If the patient can share a selfie video of their symptomatic functional activities the quality of the telehealth visit can improve.

Recording the telehealth visit provides an opportunity for the healthcare professional to receive humbling feedback on your clinical performance. What did you forget to do, how can you communicate more clearly, should you have done things in a different order?

Having a patient's selfie video can facilitate obtaining a second opinion from healthcare peers on complex patients.

Steps for the healthcare practitioner to utilize the patient’s selfie video.

  • Request the client to collect and share selfie real-world video data.
  • Provide clients with directions on how to collect useful selfie video data. Investigate the use of a selfie stick tripod, 360 camera. Have a significant other capture video recording of movement.
  • Provide a secure hyperlink for clients to upload selfie video data.
  • Invest in video editing software and learn how to use functions of video editing software to analyze movements and digital storage of client data.

A on demand-video webinar exploring this topic is available at Plus by Physiopedia entitled “Techniques for 2D Slow-Motion Video Data Motion Analysis”.

Use this code – “Damien25” for a 30% discount to access this webinar as well as the more than 500 continuing education webinar courses available at Plus by Physiopedia. This is the link with the 30% discount code embedded. 

The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You are encouraged to perform additional research regarding any information contained available through this website with other sources and consult with your physician.

Damien Howell Physical Therapy – 804-647-9499 – Fax: 866-879-8591 At-Home, At Office, At Fitness Facility – I come to you, I do home visits


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