Keller Army Community Hospital (KACH) physical therapy fellowship and PT clinic staff collaborated on a study called START: Simple Technology Assessing Running Technique, during the U.S. Military Academy's 'Reception Day' on July 5, 2018. The study aims to identify traits in Soldiers' gait that may be indicative of future lower extremity injuries.
Information-recording pods were provided by the KACH physical therapy research team from a grant -- from the Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) -- with no labor requirements or cost from U.S. Military Academy. Cadets in the class of 2022 will wear the pods for six weeks during summer training. The pods detect step rate (steps per minute), step length, distance run, foot strike pattern, and rate of impact loading.
After the six weeks are complete, the pods will be returned to the research team for data syncing, then be returned to the Cadets. Cadets will then be able to use these pods to monitor their physical activities via an app.
The intent of the study is to improve readiness by identifying parameters which promote healthy running and reduce injury, contributing to a reduction in the number of running related injuries in Cadets and Soldiers.
About the KACH Physical Therapy Fellowship:
The mission of the Baylor University-Keller Army Community Hospital Division 1 Sports Physical Therapy Fellowship is to produce clinical scientists to better serve Military Health System beneficiaries and the physical therapy profession. Our focus is accomplished through two primary purposes. The first is to produce graduates with expertise in evidenced-based primary care for preventing, examining, diagnosing, and managing a variety of complex orthopaedic and sports injuries. The second is to ensure competency in sports medicine research design, production, analysis, and critical review. The fellowship provides military physical therapists an opportunity to develop advanced competencies in triage and management of acute sports injuries while at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Graduates will use these same competencies to return injured soldiers, sailors, and airmen to a high level of military technical and tactical readiness. The concepts for managing injured elite athletes and returning them to the playing field as quickly and safely as possible shares the same common goal of returning injured service members to their units in garrison or combat.
About the Military Operational Medicine Research Program:
The MOMRP conducts collaborative research with university and commercial laboratories and other federal agencies oriented toward solving critical problems facing the Army today and in the future. They use an independent, external scientific peer review process to ensure high quality and validity of its research, peer review of milestone accomplishments and to prepare these findings for publication in the open scientific literature. The MOMRP is centered on cutting-edge scientific research and bringing science to the Soldier on the battlefield in a relevant, timely manner.