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Functional Movement Analysis

Our interdisciplinary working group focuses on different components of musculoskeletal disorders by combining different analyzes, observations and models.

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Dr.-Ing. Alison Agres

Principal Investigator - Functional Movement Analysis

Leonie Krahl

Research Associate

Training and Rehabilitation

Physical activity is essential for the maintenance of overall health and fitness. The positive effects on the human body are numerous, but many people ultimately develop orthopaedic problems that can negatively affect mobility. Musculoskeletal control is especially impaired after injury, leading to dysfunction in dynamic stability. Thus, the aim of our research is to gain a better understanding of structural changes in musculoskeletal tissues and their impact on dynamic function.

Our group is particularly interested in musculoskeletal adaptations induced by training and rehabilitation in both healthy athletes and patients recovering from an injury, respectively. Measurements of lower extremity functional kinematics and kinetics allows for the effect of resistance training and weight bearing within these populations to be assessed. In order to do this, motion capture systems, force plates, and imaging methodologies are combined to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how these physical interventions affect movement.

This versatile approach is employed by our group to develop preventive measures against degenerative diseases. We therefore aim to develop means for early detection of joint instabilities as well as to determine specific training programs to work against these issues. This includes the design of a prevention program based on a better understanding of mechanically induced degenerative diseases that result from overloading, such as osteoarthritis. Furthermore, this approach is used to evaluate the effect of different types of rehabilitation on ankle joint function and tissue structure after Achilles tendon rupture. This work allows for a more thorough understanding of the adaptations and functional changes in the muscle tendon unit that develop during the post-injury rehabilitative period.

Injuries caused specifically by running training are developed by the majority of all runners. This is caused by constant application of non-physiological loads that can lead to overstress in joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We investigate specific biomechanical parameters during running and their characteristic changes associated with typical running injuries or discomforts. Furthermore, we analyze how the loading conditions can be actively altered by targeted muscle training or changes in running technique. This research has evolved into a service available at our institute, which provides an analysis of running technique for runners and athletes (RunScan). The analysis reveals the cause for the injury and recommendations for individualized training and muscle strengthening are provided for the runner.