Musculoskeletal Health

This inter-disciplinary team of researchers includes health professionals, bioengineers, and human movement scientists. The group has a strong profile of external research funding and international collaborators in academia, SMEs and industry.

In the musculoskeletal field we have an overarching theme of understanding the pathways that lead from primary disease mechanisms to impairment and disability across a range of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.  This includes inflammatory and degenerative joint and soft-tissue disease across adult and childhood forms of arthritis and regional musculoskeletal pain disorders.

The group undertakes applied health research in highly focused patient studies and translate our knowledge and understanding into the development and testing of novel interventions through pre-clinical, proof-of-concept studies to definitive clinical trials. We have expertise in enabling technologies in the areas of human performance measurement, for example gait, joint movement, free-living activity and muscle function; medical imaging, in particular diagnostic medical ultrasound; and computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacture (CAM) of assistive devices such as orthotics. Our goal is to develop interventions targeting the right treatment for the right patient at the right stage of their condition.

The team has a programme of systematic literature reviews, applied clinical, inception cohort, and intervention studies, as well as applied technology and outcome development projects.  In collaboration with orthopaedic, rheumatology and biomedical science colleagues we are attempting to unravel the role of joint structure and function (biomechanics) and degenerative changes to cartilage and inflammation in knee osteoarthritis. This involves the use of advanced measurements of knee joint function and magnetic resonance imaging along with tissue sampling and identification of inflammatory and other biochemical markers of disease.