Hip Pain and Left / Right Movement Imbalance

By Naoto Saita

Hi, I’m Naoto from the R&D department at LEOMO. Today I’m going to share some data focused on movement imbalance using some data from Jun Furuta, a cyclist in the LEOMO Bellmare Racing Team.

Furuta has several distinguishing characteristics across all his rides:

  • Develops hip pain after riding, especially in races with a lot of climbs.
  • Consistent left / right movement imbalances in his motion.

We’ve been looking at his data for several months, and we’re going to share one that’s especially telling of what’s going on with his movements — a race with many hill climbs — starting with the full activity:

LEOMO TYPE-R L/R Imbalance 1

LEOMO TYPE-R L/R Imbalance 2

Looking at the data for this ride:

  • Pedaling while sitting has greater Foot Angular Range than pedaling while standing.
  • Climbs have higher Foot Angular Range than riding on flat ground.
  • While riding on flat ground, if (a) he rides at a higher cadence than normal (about 110 rpm and greater), or if (b) under extreme stress and exhaustion (at around the end of a protocol), he has a larger than usual gap between the left and right values of Foot Angular Range.

Seeing that the left and right values for Leg Angular Range are similar, even though there’s a large gap between the left and right Foot Angular Ranges, we hypothesized that he was moving his pelvis in a way to compensate for his large gap in Foot AR.

We recorded his movement by video and found the following:

  • The left shoulder swings wider than the right.
  • He twists his waist more to the left.

Conclusion

It is easy for the human eye to notice an imbalance in someone’s movement. However, it’s hard to pinpoint where this imbalance is originating from. Utilizing the TYPE-R, we can increase the accuracy in our feedback to athletes by having data that shows up accurately to quantify differences in movement balance between the left and right sides of the body.

We believe this left / right imbalance is causing Furuta to experience hip pain because of overcompensation, and have started to prescribe left/right movement training to see if his hip pain will diminish.

 


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