Prevention of secondary musculoskeletal dysfunction
Early diagnosis of movement disorders is particularly focused on the motor performance of children, especially babies, since early therapy can reduce the consequences of accompanying musculoskeletal dysfunction. Prediction of harmful joint forces and moments in children and adults allows the prevention of secondary damage to bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Special emphasis is given to the detection and analysis of spasticity. Information extraction procedures are developed which allow the assessment and quantification of spasticity in patients with stroke and infantile cerebral palsy. Additionally, the input to the central nervous system during spastic contraction of a muscle is investigated at the single motor unit level. New insights have been gained into spasticity-related, detrimental alterations in control loops of the CNS caused by altered muscle activation.
Quantification of movement constraints
Smart sensors have been developed which allow the detection of movement constraints and coping movements during daily activities. These sensors are used to detect for example limping during gait or a modified range of motion in the upper extremities.
Surface electromyography is used to investigate muscular activation in the presence of pain. Special emphasis is given to low back pain in which pain-related changes in muscular activation can be found.