What's New

The MAL has launched a study entitled “EMG modules as a novel biomarker of basal ganglia plasticity in Parkinson’s disease”. The study funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation aims to identify specific characteristics of muscle activity that could be linked to changes within the brain that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Contact Us

300 First Avenue 3rd Floor, Room 3297
Charlestown, MA 02129

For Clinical Appointments & Referrals:
Susan Regan
(617) 952-6204

For Research Study Information:
Call our Volunteer Registry Line at
(617) 952-6331

How to Get a Clinical Evaluation

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Biomechanics Dummy

Our Motion Analysis Laboratory employs physiatrists, physical therapists, and biomedical engineers, who offer gait evaluation for children and adults with walking abnormalities. If you are interested in a gait evaluation, talk with a referring physician. During a session, the staff will evaluate in detail how you walk and define muscle strengthening or relaxation treatments to correct or alleviate gait problems. The staff may recommend bracing, assistive devices, nerve or motor point blocks, prosthetic modifications, or surgery.

We employ a high-tech multi-camera system to map motion three-dimensionally. It uses:

- Reflective markers that record movements of the lower limbs

- Force plates that allow one to estimate forces exerted on lower limb joints

- EMG electrodes that record the activity of up to 16 lower limb muscles

Additionally, a physical therapist performs a clinical evaluation and a video is made of each patient while walking. Gait evaluation may help define a treatment plan for the following diagnoses:

  • Amputation
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Multiple-Head Injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Musculoskeletal/Arthritic/Orthopedic Conditions
  • Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Peripheral Nerve Injury
  • Post-Polio Syndrome
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spina Bifida
  • Stroke


What should you bring to your Gait Evaluation?
Your evaluation will take two to three hours. Wear casual clothes. Bring elastic waist shorts  (Lycra or loose fitting),  any braces or orthoses you wear, any assistive devices  you may use, (walkers, etc.)  and, for children, toys, snacks, and/or videos.

Patients should consult their insurer, HMO, or government agency about coverage for a clinical gait analysis before making their appointment.