Current Studies

Research findings from the laboratory are used to improve our understanding of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders, as well as develop new treatment approaches. To find more information on a particular research study, please view the outlines and general eligibility criteria below. If you are interested in taking part in a research study in the lab, please click the respective study links below.

1) Effects of Running on Cartilage – Pilot Study Females neededParticipants Needed

Overview: Physical activity is widely advocated as an important treatment approach for knee osteoarthritis (OA). While it has been shown that healthy knee cartilage has the ability to become stronger with running, little is known about the effects of running in individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

Objectives: To assess changes in knee cartilage before and after a period of running, and to compare cartilage behavior in runners with and without OA.

For more information about participating in this study and to register your interest, click here.

2) Running biomechanics half marathon clinic study Females neededParticipants Needed

Overview: Gait retraining has been suggested as a means of reducing injury rates in the novice recreational running population by incorporating safer movement patterns. Impact loading (the force with which one makes contact with the ground while running) has been linked to increased injury rates in runners. In order to test whether lower loading rates will result in reduced injury incidence, we first need to assess the feasibility of changing a runner’s gait.

Objectives: To determine whether runners can modify their form, thereby decreasing injury incidence.

For more information about participating in this study and to register your interest, click here.

3) Knee osteoarthritis walking program All genders eligibleParticipants Needed

Overview: Walking programs have been recommended for people with knee osteoarthritis to reduce pain and symptoms as well as increase mobility. These are inexpensive and noninvasive techniques that can be widely used. However, it is not clear how effective these programs are in altering other factors important to knee osteoarthritis, such as the loads that pass through the knee joint.

Objectives: To assess the effect of different walking programs on knee pain, knee joint loading, and overall physical function.

For more information about participating in this study and to register your interest, click here.

4) Muscle fatigue and walking biomechanics Recruitment Ended

Overview: Muscles provide stability to joints and help absorb loads during functional tasks such as walking. If muscles are impaired (like with fatigue), these key functions could be affected. By determining what effect impaired muscle function has on the knee during walking, we hope to better understand the consequences of reduced muscle function in people with problems with their muscles or bones that negatively impact the way they move. This will allow us to better design focused muscle rehabilitation programs to improve physical function and quality of life.

Objectives: To determine the effects of muscle fatigue on knee joint biomechanics during walking.

Recruitment for this study has closed. Stay tuned for results!

5) Functional mobility healthy control database Recruitment Ended

Overview: We aim to gather information regarding the movements and joint loading as well as muscle activation patterns at the hip, knee and ankle during functional mobility in healthy individuals.

Objectives: To compare healthy individuals’ performance with that of those with musculoskeletal and/or neurological impairments impacting functional mobility.

Recruitment for this study has closed. Stay tuned for results!

6) Knee osteoarthritis standing balance study Recruitment Ended

Overview: Balance training is often recommended to reduce the risk of falls and improve balance and physical function. However, balance training programs are not always successful for people with knee osteoarthritis. This may be because previous programs have not focused on the appropriate type or intensity of exercise. It is unknown what effect an evidence-based dynamic balance training program will have on balance, physical function, and the risk of falling.

Objectives: To assess the effect of a targeted dynamic balance training program compared to a control group of no training.

Recruitment for this study has closed. Stay tuned for results!

7) Shoe orthotics for knee osteoarthritis study Recruitment Ended

Overview: Inexpensive and non-invasive therapies are needed to improve the pain and physical dysfunction known to exist in people with knee OA. One potential option is the use of shoe insoles (orthotics) that are designed to reduce the loads within the knee joint that are known to cause pain. Though a number of different types of shoe orthotics exist, the effects of custom-made orthotics designed to match the specific shape of a person’s foot in improving knee OA pain and dysfunction are unknown.

Objectives: To examine the effects of two different sets of custom-fitted orthotics on knee pain and physical function.

Recruitment for this study has closed. Stay tuned for results!