MAC Information For Clinicians - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Motion Analysis Center (MAC):
For Clinicians

What Is Motion Analysis?

Motion analysis is a scientific process that uses advances in engineering, mathematics, instrumentation, medicine, imaging and computer technology to record and decode the characteristics and underlying reasons of a movement pattern of interest. It is an integral component of a scientifically founded clinical approach to evaluating neuro-musculo-skeletal motion disorders and making recommendations for or determining interventions to treat or improve the motion disorder. Since the approach is quantitative, it can be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. Changes in any of the motion parameters monitored can be identified immediately.

At RIC, the clinical Motion Analysis Center (MAC) focuses on the analysis of human walking (gait analysis) and upper extremity function during activities of daily living. The information that is recorded and can be analyzed includes:

  1. The movement pattern of the entire body and each body segment
  2. The external forces applied to the body that may affect or may be affected by the manner of walking
  3. The muscle activation patterns that contribute to the internal and external forces and torques experienced as well as to the movement pattern, and...
  4. The pressure distribution on the bottom of the foot while the person is standing or walking.

Analysis involves the construction of mathematical and computerized models to digitize and reconstruct the movement pattern captured and to determine the internal joint forces and torques generated by the combined interaction among the muscles, the movement patterns and the external forces applied to the body.

Conditions Treated

Motion Analysis benefits can extend (but are not limited) to the following patient populations and conditions: 

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Hip and Joint Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke or Cerebral Vascular Disease
  • Brain Injury
  • Joint Injuries or Abnormalities
  • Muscular Dystrophies
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Balance Disorders
  • Brace or Prosthetic Device Modification
  • ...and more

Current Services Offered

At RIC, the clinical MAC focuses on the analysis of human walking (gait analysis) and upper extremity function during activities of daily living. We are proud to provide an array of services and treat children and adults with a variety of conditions. For a full list of the most updated services we offer, please visit MAC Services.

How to Make a Referral

Clinicians or health care professionals may make patient referrals directly to the Motion Analysis Center. To make a referral directly to RIC:

  • Download our MAC Referral Form (PDF).
  • Include the patient’s most recent clinical note, including any previous surgery and the treatments currently under consideration.
  • Provide your patient with the MAC referral.
  • Have the patient call us at 1-312-238-1447 to schedule an appointment.

RIC's MAC team will coordinate all scheduling and billing with your patient. You will also receive the final report from the motion analysis from RIC's MAC team within six weeks.

*Please Note: It is recommended that the patient be at least 4 years old and 38 inches tall as cooperation is needed during the evaluation, and the ability of the cameras to resolve the coordinates of the reflective devices decreases as the devices get closer together. Patients should also be able to follow simple instructions, tolerate tactile stimulation, and walk at least 20 feet.

Kinematic data (joint motion data) for patients with a KAFO or twister cables is limited to documenting the movement of the brace, not the joints within the brace, as reflective devices are placed on the twister cables and/or pelvic band.