The Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Laboratory (MABLab) brings together clinicians and researchers to conduct clinically-relevant biomechanics research aiming to optimize physical function in individuals with musculoskeletal and neuromuscular injury and disease. This is achieved through two lines of complimentary research:
1) identification of abnormal movement patterns associated with injury and disease development or progression
2) examination of the effectiveness of surgical and non-surgical, non-pharmacological treatments in improving movement biomechanics and quality of life.
The primary specific areas of research undertaken in the laboratory are:
Biomechanics of knee osteoarthritis
It is commonly believed that the forces passing through a joint is a strong risk factor for the breakdown of cartilage – the hallmark of osteoarthritis (OA). Researchers in the MABLab use state-of-the-art motion analysis equipment to quantify these forces during movements such as walking. Abnormal movement patterns associated with the disease are identified that provides new information about the causes and consequences of OA.
Conservative treatment approaches for knee osteoarthritis
Though joint replacement surgery remains a common treatment strategy for people with end-stage knee OA, effective treatment approaches for people with early- and mid-stage OA remain few. Using information gained regarding the biomechanics of knee OA, researchers in the MABLab develop and test new treatments that target faulty joint mechanics without the use of surgery or pharmaceuticals. These treatments include exercise, changes in walking characteristics, and shoe modifications.
Biomechanics of hip impingement
Changes in the anatomy of the hip joint can create impingements that prevent smooth joint movements and cause pain and physical dysfunction. Researchers in the MABLab study physical impairments in people with a specific type of hip impingement – femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) – such as strength, maximum movement capability, and walking characteristics. They use this information to develop new rehabilitation protocols that target these impairments as well as examine the effectiveness of other treatments, such as surgery.