Background Neuromuscular training programmes have demonstrated success in the rehabilitation of ankle joint injuries, as well having proven success in reducing the risk of injury recurrence. However athlete motivation to do these exercises can be poor, with many athletes performing their exercises incorrectly when they are not supervised by their trainer/therapist.
Objective The objective of this study was to investigate whether inertial sensors on the leg can be used to track exercise performance, and therefore be used to provide feedback on exercise performance.
Design A single case study.
Setting University research laboratory.
Participants A healthy (no injuries/conditions that would affect postural stability/proprioception) adult male (age = 25 years, body mass = 75 kg, height = 189 cm) participated in this study.
Assessment The participant performed ten repetitions of a single leg squat exercise (SLS). Skeleton and video data were recorded using a Microsoft Kinect for post-labelling of exercise performance. An inertial sensor (Shimmer, Dublin, Ireland) was secured to the participant’s left shank. The sensor contained a tri-axial accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer sampling at 51.2 Hz.
Main outcome measurements The following signals were obtained from the sensor during the SLS; acceleration magnitude, pitch, roll and yaw. The skeleton and video data were labelled by a physiotherapist. The sensor signals were then inspected to determine if the various labels of SLS performance could be discriminated.
Results The following sensors signals from the left shank can discriminate between the various labels of SLS performance; Acceleration magnitude, roll, pitch and accelerometer Z.
Conclusions This preliminary analysis reveals that variations in SLS performance, which may indicate poor neuromuscular control of the ankle joint can be identified with an inertial sensors on the shin. While the results of this case study are encouraging further quantitative analyses of the data are required.