Muscle & contracture


Recovery from stroke after more than 20 years   Recently updated !

Much can be learned from case studies of individual patients. This has been shown more than once in the field of stroke research.  The observations by the illustrious neuroanatomist Dr. Brodal of his own stroke are an example (Brodal 1973). A paper recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology provides […]


How do muscles change shape when they are passively lengthened?   Recently updated !

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 […]


How do muscles bulge during contraction and does this influence function?

Perhaps when you were a child, you stood in front of a mirror and flexed your elbow to see how big your muscles were (perhaps you have done this recently?).  The harder you contract your muscle, the bigger it looks. But of course the muscle doesn’t actually get bigger, it […]


Interview: Professor Rob Herbert talks about muscle contractures

Professor Rob Herbert at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) performs research into contractures – the stiffening of joints that often occurs after neurological lesions such as stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. In this video he talks about the cutting-edge techniques like ultrasound and diffusion tensor imaging that he and people […]


How can you make your muscle grow longer?

Across the animal kingdom, muscles adapt to the exercise that they perform.  They can do this by changing their intrinsic capacity to generate force as well as changing their actual size, both the cross-sectional area of the muscle and the length of the muscle (e.g. Goldspink, 1985; Lynn & Morgan, […]


Interview with Professor Rob Herbert 1

Professor Herbert’s research examines the mechanisms of contracture in human muscles using novel biomechanical methods. He also conducts epidemiological studies to quantify the prevalence and incidence of contracture, predict people who are most likely to develop contracture, and we conduct clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of interventions designed to […]


How common are joint contractures among people with multiple sclerosis?

Joint contractures, usually defined as limited passive range of joint motion, are common in people with neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis (MS).  To date, there are no studies of the incidence and prevalence of contracture in a population with MS.  A recent systematic review […]