Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Inertial sensing for non-laboratory based human motion capture: from the laboratory to the outdoors


Hip or groin pain can be due to a condition of the hip joint known as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), which can lead to osteoarthritis. Although the exact causes of FAI are unknown, abnormal movement may play a role in the onset of this condition.  FAI develops in young people, but it is more frequent in those who do intense physical activity, e.g. over two thirds of youth football players have FAI. Football is one of the most popular recreational sports in the UK.  It is therefore important to determine what can trigger FAI so we can find ways to treat and prevent it. 

Movement of joints can be studied accurately in the laboratory using cameras and force measuring equipment. However, surroundings affect how people function, so ideally motion should be studied out on the training field, under the most natural conditions possible. 

What the research hopes to achieve

Our research aims to develop a method to gain accurate measurements of how the joints move during sports. The work involves studying footballers on the training field, by using small wireless sensors attached to their bodies during training. The data will provide valuable information, together with physiotherapy tests, to help us understand more about how abnormal movement patterns may be involved in the development of FAI.

Work Package

Biomarkers (WP2)

Principal Investigator Dr Alex Forrester (University of Southampton)
Investigator Lavinia Otescue