University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Department Seminar: Gait-Related Mechanism of Pain Adaptation

Date/Time: 

Monday, February 9, 2015 - 4:00pm

Presenter: 

Katherine Boyer – Assistant professor, Kinesiology, UMass Amherst

Location: 

Kellogg Conference Room, ELab II

Details: 

Abstract:

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common sources of musculoskeletal pain in our aging population. Management of pain symptoms remains the primary goal of clinical treatment, as no disease modifying therapies are limited. However, pain management in older adults is exceptionally difficult due to challenges in evaluating treatment efficacy, risk of adverse effects and multiple sites and causes of pain.  Despite significant effort to improve pain therapies, there has been limited success with patient specific responses and little advancement in our understanding of long-term efficacy.  We suggest a contributing factor to this variable success might be a lack of information of the mechanical environment of the joint and the impact of pain and its treatment on motor system function.  This seminar will focus on two experiments and our proposed novel experimental and computational approaches to examine the motor system response to changes in OA related knee pain severity.  These represent our first efforts to examine the mechanism supporting acute changes in pain and the accompanying motor system adaptations to pain in an aging population.