HELPING PATIENTS MOVE SMARTER, FASTER AND BETTER

Our research is aimed at understanding the relationships between lower extremity structure, mechanics and musculoskeletal injury. We are also interested in developing strategies and interventions that help to mitigate injury risk. While the focus of our research is on running, our interests extend to injuries related to walking as well. We utlize imaging, modeling, and experimental approaches to answer our research questions.



RESEARCH AREAS

Our past, current and future investigations relate to the following areas:

  •   Structural and biomechanical factors related to:
    • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
    • Iliotibial band syndrome
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Stress fractures
    • Achilles tendinitis
    • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Imaging of the patellofemoral joint, foot & ankle during dynamic activities
  • Gait retraining to reduce abnormal mechanics in both walking and running
  • Multisegment foot models
  • The influence of a myriad of variables on running injury risk, including:
    • Intrinsic factors (age, sex)
    • Foot strike type
    • Footwear choice (from barefoot to maximally cushioned shoes)
    • Speed
    • Previous injury history
    • Other mechanics
  • Development and testing of mobile systems to monitor and provide feedback on running mechanics outside of the laboratory
  • Gait abnormalities and retraining for persons with lower extremity amputations
  • Development of systems using small, mobile sensors to monitor gait and provide gait retraining outside of the laboratory

CURRENT PROJECTS

Healthy Runner Database

 The purpose of this research study is to investigate the movement patterns and the forces involved when the average, healthy person runs. We are also interested in the differences between age, gender, speed, and footwear choices on running mechanics. CURRENTLY RECRUITING! Learn More

Study of interventions aimed at reducing impact load in runners

While the etiology of running injuries is multi-factorial, impact mechanics have been linked to a number of common running-related injuries. The purpose of this research is to compare two types of gait retraining styles that are known to reduce impact to the body. 

iMPACT LOADING IN RUNNERS DURING THE BOSTON MARATHON

The effects of distance running on running mechanics is not well understood, and is even less understood during races and in the natural environment (i.e. outside the lab). With this study we will better understand the association of age, gender, ability, fatigue, terrain, footwear, foot strike, and injury history on running mechanics (tibial shock).

STANCE TIME ASYMMETRY GAIT RETRAINING USING MOBILE SENSORS

Current rehabilitative care for individuals with amputation often results in functional, but not optimal, use of the artificial limb. For example, patients with unilateral transtibial amputations often have asymmetries in their walking mechanics despite receiving gait training during the rehabilitation process. While gait retraining using an instrumented treadmill and real-time feedback is possible, it is not practical in the clinic. Our lab is currently developing a clinically-viable mobile system to administer this feedback. Once developed we will test the efficacy of the system.


PAST PROJECTS

For the most up-to-date listing of past projects, please see Dr. Davis's ResearchGate Contributions.