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The University of Southampton
Active Living


Cluster lead: Professor Maria Stokes

Movement dysfunction in musculoskeletal disorders reduces everyday activities and quality of life.  Through our innovative musculoskeletal research and new technologies we aim to optimise health and function, particularly during musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Through developmental studies and clinical trials we are increasing understanding of normal musculoskeletal function and finding effective ways of managing joint and soft tissue conditions.

Motion analysis

Research into movement dysfunction requires accurate measurement of functional movement using valid and reliable techniques.  We conduct state of the art 3-dimensional motion analysis, using Vicon motion capture systems, with integrated wireless electromyography and force platforms.  Work involves developing models for different areas of the body including: shoulder, hand, knee, lumbopelvic region, foot and ankle.

Ultrasound imaging

Rehabilitative ultrasound imaging: Our research has helped to establish rehabiliative ultrasound imaging (RUSI) to become a recognised area within the medical imaging field, specifically for assessment and biofeedback to re-educate muscle contraction to enhance physiotherapy treatment in musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Diagnostic imaging of foot conditions: We have developed diagnostic ultrasound imaging protocols for detection of inflammatory arthritis within the foot and ankle, particularly for use by podiatrists.

Our musculoskeletal rehabilitation research programmes

We research on

Healthy ageing - maintaining independence

Exercise and osteoarthritis - elite and recreational sports / activities

Hand conditions - osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Shoulder and back pain

Foot conditions- inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis

Knee conditions - osteoarthritis, joint pain and replacement

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