Motor Impairment Blog


Treatment options for musculoskeletal pain: an overview of current evidence 2

Musculoskeletal pain is the most common cause of disability globally (Vos et al. 2013). It is managed in primary care by a plethora of treatment options, such as self-management advice and education, analgesics, corticosteroid injections, exercise therapy, complementary therapies, and psychosocial interventions. Research suggests that localised musculoskeletal pain frequently coexists in more […]


Skin at the back of the ankle contributes to awareness of ankle position 1

The ability to know how our limbs are positioned in space is called proprioception. This ‘sense’ is possible through information gained from individual sensors in the muscles and in the skin. In fact, skin stretch on the back or dorsal surface of the hand has been shown to create illusory […]


Sensorimotor and cognitive factors associated with walking adaptability: novel perspectives for fall prevention in older people 2

Negotiating unexpected obstacles, such as cracks in pavement, requires successful adaptation of our walking pattern to guarantee stability and to avoid falling. Poor walking performance might contribute to tripping, which is frequently reported as a cause of falls in older people (Lord et al. 1993). We have devised a test […]


Neural mechanisms related to the reduction in muscle force after stretching

Stretching routines are commonly performed before exercise, and they are often included in rehabilitation programs. One of the most common types of stretching is static stretching.  Static stretching involves lengthening the muscle, then holding it at a lengthened position for several seconds. For example, if you bend over to touch […]


How does step training affect stepping performance in untrained directions?

Step training is effective for preventing falls in older people (Okubo et al., 2015). This is likely because the movements performed during training closely mimic those which are necessary to avoid falling in real-world situations. One form of step training involves interactive video game technology. This type of training has […]


Home-based exercise improves balance in people with dementia

Older people with dementia are at increased risk of physical decline and falls, with 60% falling annually. So far, there is limited evidence that falls can be prevented in community-dwelling older people with dementia (Sherrington et al., 2016). Poor balance and depressive symptoms are risk factors for falls in this […]


Calibrating skin maps: How are body metrics represented?

To accurately move there is a need for proprioception, the sense of where our limbs are in space. Although we know much about how proprioceptive signals arise in the periphery, less is known about how these signals are integrated so that they can be understood in the spatial co-ordinates of the […]


Why does motor performance decline with aging?

Populations in many countries are aging as the proportion of people over 65 years is projected to increase over the next 30-40 years. Aging however, is accompanied by a reduced ability to perform daily tasks such as walking, rising from a chair and climbing stairs, ultimately impacting independence of living. […]


How do muscles change shape when they are passively lengthened?

Muscles are often referred to as ‘motors’ that drive human and animal movements. This analogy certainly captures the important role of muscles as active generators of force and movement. However, it sells the equally important passive properties of muscles short. Most of us will only appreciate the importance of passive […]


Exercise reduces pain through a peripheral mechanism in healthy adults 1

In healthy adults, it is well demonstrated that a single bout of exercise can acutely reduce pain (Naugle et al., 2012), a phenomenon known as exercise-induced hypoalgesia. However, the mechanisms of pain reduction after exercise are not clear. The methods commonly used to study pain responses after exercise in humans […]