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Avatars Help Athletes Improve

3D program may help pitchers and golfers.

When you think of an avatar you think of the movies or video games, but now avatars are helping athletes play better than ever before.

Nineteen year old Jake Murray has always dreamed of playing in the big leagues, but elbow pain threw him a curveball.
However, 3D biomechanical imaging is helping Jake develop a specialized training program that will help him pitch without pain.

"It gives us an ability to look at forces and torques, and position of the body," Donna Moxley Scarborough, MS, PT, Clinical and Research Director, Mass General Orthopaedics Sports Performance Center said.

Each set of reflective markers are placed on Jake and it creates accurate measures of speed and force across the joints of the body. 20 motion capture cameras track the position of each marker-creating a 3D avatar.

The 3D avatar is synchronized with two high-speed video cameras to provide an ultimate view of the athlete. The 3D imaging lines up the real time action from all angles at the same time.

"We noticed that he had some limitations in muscle length and some strength issues," Scarborough said.

Jake has changed some of his pitching mechanics, as well as his workout program. Now, he's back in the game and ready to compete at the next level.

Researchers are also using this technology to help golfers get a stroke up.


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