VALD Force Decks In Physical Therapy

MAVen team

In sports, platforms can be used to assess athletes' movements and performance. They can assess movement while walking, running, jumping, or other physical exercises.

In the past, force platforms have been exclusively confined to research laboratories. VALD offers Forcedecks that are accessible and practical for everyday use in a high-performance clinical setting. This makes it easy to assess movements and determine stability, strength, power, and symmetry.

What are they? 

VALD Forcedecks are a dual-force plate system that monitors neuromuscular control, strength and imbalance. Each force plate contains several sensors for detecting the force, direction, and symmetry of our movement.

It is connected to an application, via Bluetooth, allowing you to easily analyze movement, movement strategy, limb asymmetry, power, balance, and neuromuscular control in real-time.  

How does it work? 

A client will stand with one foot on each of the force plates. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy will walk you through a variety of movements depending on what needs to be assessed. 

With just a click of a button on the application, you will be able to see the difference in the weight distribution and force coming from each leg onto the force plates. You are even able to record the assigned movement so that you can review it later. 

What do you measure? 

There are several movements that can be assessed with force plates. A few are: 

  • Squat
  • Counter Movement Jump 
  • Drop Down Jump 
  • Single Leg Jump

The metrics we measure will all depend on what your physical therapist is analyzing. Common metrics we look at: 

Jump Height

This metric gives us an idea of your power, maximum strength, and explosive strength.

Peak Power

Your peak power is the highest amount of power generated during the test. Power is able to account for a combination of strength, velocity, force and neuromuscular adaptations.

Peak Takeoff Force

This force gives us an idea of how much power you produce in order to jump from the forcedeck surface.

Peak Landing Force

This gives us an idea of how well you absorb shock as you land. 

Symmetry Between Limbs 

Limb Symmetry Index is the ratio between opposing limbs (right leg and left leg). Whether the asymmetry is due to surgery, injury, or merely limb dominance, it can help us compare the affected limb to what would be considered "normal" for you.

VALD recommends that limb symmetry with all metrics should be within 15% to be considered normal. However, clinical research for return to sport testing shows that <10% may reduce injury risk further, so this is our goal at MAVEN. 

How often do you use it? 

Typically testing occurs about once a month. This is to ensure that your body has time to build strength and power. Keep in mind that it can take at least 4 weeks for you to see a change across training sessions. 

Looking for Santa Monica BFR training? At MAVEN, all of our Doctors of Physical Therapy are trained in using the VALD Dual Force Plate system to assess movements in order to help us guide your training program. Get in touch with us to see how you can incorporate VALD Force Plates into your training.