Musculoskeletal system

Interactions between disc degeneration and multifidus atrophy

The aim of this project is to understand how the mechanical effects of atrophy of the multifidus muscles, as observed in patients with low-back pain, interact with those of intervertebral disc degeneration. Disc degeneration reduces spine stiffness and may impair control over spine movement. Multifidus atrophy is assumed to result from nociceptive afference from spinal structures and may all negatively affect control over the spine. In turn, reduced control over spine movement may enhance disc degeneration.

Unravelling the etiology of muscle injuries

The first aim of the research project is to characterize the activity of the hamstring muscles biomechanically and neurophsyiologically, during high speed running activities and injury prevention exercises. The second aim is to study muscle characteristics in athletes before and after a prevention program.

Spine Biomechanics

Understanding biomechanical behavior of the spine under short term and long term loading is vital to comprehend the control over spine movement, unravel injury mechanisms and to understand intervertebral disc degeneration. In addition, this work is needed to improve surgical interventions related to, e.g., treatment of scoliosis, and for effective design of new therapeutic interventions, such as tissue engineering methods to restore spine function. Therefore, we use mechanically test of human and animal spines and motion segments to assess stiffness, range of motion, failure loads, and fluid flow mechanisms.

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