Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research at the University of Southampton

As you read this, musculoskeletal rehabilitation researchers here at the University of Southampton are working hard to discover, develop and trial new and improved therapies and interventions for healthcare service users who suffer from musculoskeletal complaints.

This pioneering musculoskeletal rehabilitation research work falls under the remit of our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies research group, which is led by Professor Jane Burridge from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Importantly, there is a strong interdisciplinary thread that runs right through all of our musculoskeletal rehabilitation research work. In particular, we are able to call upon the skills and experience of our University colleagues who specialise in engineering.

These individuals are instrumental in enabling us to develop therapies that use machine-based technologies, including robotics. As a result of this interdisciplinary ethos we are able to assemble musculoskeletal rehabilitation research teams that represent much more than just the sum of their parts.

Key musculoskeletal rehabilitation research themes that are being explored here include: developing objective assessment tools for research and clinical practice to guide patient management; and elucidating biomechanical and physiological mechanisms of normal function, movement dysfunction and recovery to inform development of treatments. But that is just the beginning.

Other key musculoskeletal rehabilitation research themes comprise: developing effective treatment techniques and patient centred approaches; assistive technology; clinical trials to evaluate treatments; delivery of care concerns including communication and clinical decision making; and last but not least, user involvement.

Furthermore, our musculoskeletal rehabilitation research is aided by our internationally recognised expertise in the following areas: ultrasound imaging; diagnostic imaging of foot conditions; motion analysis; hand splinting effectiveness studies; and outcome measures.

There are five specific musculoskeletal rehabilitation research programmes currently ongoing. These are: ‘Clinical effectiveness of self-management for people with arthritis’; ‘Communication and decision-making in health encounters’; ‘Foot and ankle research’; ‘Movement dysfunction mechanisms and exercise interventions’; and ‘Novel technology for assessing muscle tone and stiffness’.

At the University of Southampton we believe it is vital to explore and understand the characteristics of proper musculoskeletal function, musculoskeletal dysfunction and musculoskeletal recovery. That is because this can help inform the development of effective therapies and interventions.

Senior research fellow in biomechanics, Dr Martin Warner, plays a key role in this aspect of our musculoskeletal rehabilitation research. He performs this primarily though his position at the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis.

Another important aspect of our musculoskeletal rehabilitation research is developing accurate assessment tools for research and clinical practice, establishing reliability and validity. A couple of examples of this are measuring muscle tone and biomechanical properties using cutting-edge Myoton technology, and measuring muscle characteristics using ultrasound imaging.

Finally, exercise interventions are also being developed for the prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions, such as: back, hip, knee, shoulder and hand pain. Populations studied span both the age spectrum and the activity spectrum.

To discover more about musculoskeletal rehabilitation research at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, all you need to do is visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies website. The web address is www.soutampton.ac.uk/rht

Finally, exercise interventions are also being developed for the prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions, such as: back, hip, knee, shoulder and hand pain. Populations studied span both the age spectrum and the activity spectrum.

To discover more about musculoskeletal rehabilitation research at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, all you need to do is visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies website. The web address is www.soutampton.ac.uk/rht

To discover more about musculoskeletal rehabilitation research at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, all you need to do is visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies website. The web address is www.soutampton.ac.uk/rht

To discover more about musculoskeletal rehabilitation research at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, all you need to do is visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies website. The web address is http://www.soutampton.ac.uk/rht

Author Bio: To discover more about musculoskeletal rehabilitation research at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences, all you need to do is visit our Rehabilitation and Health Technologies website. The web address is www.soutampton.ac.uk/rht

Category: Education
Keywords: musculoskeletal rehabilitation, musculoskeletal research

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