Motion Analysis Laboratory

Moving forward, one step at a time.

The Motion Analysis Laboratory is a highly specialized program. Our team of experts includes physical therapists, biomechanical engineers and physicians who are specially trained in analyzing data using advanced technology and equipment.

Established in 1994, the program is Michigan’s leader in computerized gait analysis.

Our team uses highly specialized tools to study the way you walk and move. 16 motion-capture cameras – like those used to create video games and animated characters – enable us to generate a 3D model of your movement pattern.  

We also use other motion analysis technology, such as force platforms built into the floor, muscle electrodes and a foot pressure measurement system. We graph your movement and see how it compares to typical movement.    

We can help you put your best foot forward.

Who we serve

We serve patients with a wide range of diagnoses causing complex gait abnormalities, including but not limited to:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Spina bifida
  • Stroke
  • Amputation
  •  Spinal cord lesions
  • Orthopedic and joint disorders
  • Club foot and other foot deformities
  • Other neurological disorders

Our Team 

We have the most experienced team of clinical gait analysis experts in the state. Our professionals use an evidence-based approach to provide recommendations to your treatment team. 

Our staff actively pursues research and education to better understand and treat human motion problems. Members are active in the  Gait & Clinical Movement Analysis Society  and the  American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine . 

Team members also lecture current and future health care professionals and collaborate on research opportunities with physical therapy students and other rehabilitation practitioners. 

Contact Us
Motion Analysis Laboratory 
Grand Valley State University Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences
301 Michigan St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616.840.8005 


Here are some of the questions we most frequently hear from patients interested in our Motion Analysis Laboratory: 

Why computerized motion analysis?

Motion analysis gives your treatment team better information about how you move. The information can be used in:  

  • Planning your treatment 
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments such as surgery, medication, therapy, bracing or assistive devices 
  • Monitoring changes in your walking or other movement over time 
  • Improving the way your brace or artificial limb works 

How long does a test take?

A motion analysis study can take anywhere from three to five hours. The duration depends on several factors, including the type of assessments being performed.  

Your visit will begin with a brief introduction to the team. Then they’ll do things like:

  • Videotaping you walking and other movements 
  • Analyzing your footprint 
  • Completing a physical examination to get careful measurements of your body 
  • Running an electromyography (EMG) scan to record what your muscles do as you move 
  • Using video motion capture to create a 3D model of your movement (12+ special cameras capture movement of reflectors placed on your body) 

Is a motion analysis difficult or painful?

No and we try to make the time as enjoyable as possible. When you’re not walking, you can watch a movie, listen to music, check your phone, or simply chat with our friendly staff. We also have snacks! 

How will I know the results?

Our team creates a detailed report of your motion analysis study and our recommendations. We’ll pass this information along to your doctor about four weeks after your analysis. Please let our staff know if your doctor needs the results sooner (for example, if a surgery is scheduled). 

Your doctor will review the motion analysis report with you at your next visit. You and your doctor will decide how to use the information as part of your rehabilitation. 

What if I have questions?

For more information, call us between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at 616.840.8050. 

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