International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Society for Back Pain Research British Orthopaedic Research Society
Areas of expertise
Our research uses in vitro testing procedures and in vivo electromyographic and kinematic assessments to investigate mechanisms of spinal injury and deformity. Using a technique called stress profilometry, we have demonstrated, in cadaver spines, how various types of loading can lead to high stress concentrations in the intervertebral disc that may initiate subsequent disc degeneration. Stress profilometry has also shown how altered loading due to disc degeneration can influence the risk of osteoporotic vertebral fracture, and how the detrimental effects of such fracture can be reversed by techniques such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Our studies in living people have shown how factors such as muscle fatigue and soft tissue creep can alter sensorimotor function and impair reflex and voluntary control of the back muscles. Such changes in muscle function can lead to increased spinal loading which, in an occupational setting, may lead to an increased risk of injury.