Biomechanics are here
April 9, 2018
VAIL — The study of biomechanics has advanced so much in recent years, it was only a matter of time before Biomechanics Day was born.
The international event will celebrate three years on Wednesday, April 11, and here in Vail, it's not surprising to see it being recognized more enthusiastically.
If you've visited the newly remodeled Vail Health building on Meadow Drive, then one of the most noticeable changes is the large laboratory to your left as you walk through the front doors.
It's a futuristic looking facility to match the futuristic research taking place inside.
Kimi Dahl with the Steadman Philippon Research Institute says the new biomotion facility at Vail Health is among the most advanced biomechanics laboratories in the U.S.
"Our facility is really unique because we have a dynamic stereo X-ray system, so we're able to take a 3-D moving X-ray," she said.
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While other labs may have a dynamic stereo X-ray system, or a wireless electromyography sensors, or force plate-equipped treadmill, very few have all of these tools in one place. By combining systems, it allows for more data, more accuracy and a more well-rounded study, Dahl said.
"The kind of system that we have, there's less than 10 of them in the country, to our knowledge," Dahl said.
To celebrate Biomechanics Day on Wednesday, the lab will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for any who are interested in what kind of work is going on inside.
Guests will learn about the different systems used in the facility and how the researchers who work there analyze human movement.
"We really just want to get the community involved in what we're doing here in our lab," Dahl said.
With biomechanics being a relatively new field, the staff at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute think Vail Valley residents in particular might find it quite interesting, given how active the community is here.
"Our facility is on the cutting edge, and it's very unique to have that kind of technology in a small mountain town," said Sarah Wilson with the research institute. "In a lot of our research studies, we recruit healthy volunteers from within the community … so we do want people to know that we're here and they can be a part of this."
The timing of Biomechanics Day is good for Eagle County, as well, as residents prepare to transition from winter to summer recreation.
"We're looking to identify what kind of movement puts someone at risk for an injury, then helping to educate coaches and trainers to avoid those kind of movements or to help their athletes strengthen certain muscle groups to avoid those types of injuries," Wilson said
Learn more about Biomechanics Day by visiting http://nationalbiomechanics day.asbweb.org.