Muscle & contracture


Motor Impairment Blog’s most popular posts

Over the past 4.5 years, researchers from all over the world have written non-technical summaries on their research for the Motor Impairment Blog. Consequently, the Blog contains a rich archive of information on topics such as muscle strength and weakness, falls and balance, sensation, pain, motor control, and research methods. […]


Interview: Prof Andrew Creswell talks about the intrinsic muscles of the foot

Little is known about the small intrinsic foot muscles and their function during walking and running. In this video, Prof Andrew Creswell of the University of Queensland talks about the results of his research in which he has utilized imaging ultrasound and intramuscular electromyography to study the role of intrinsic […]


Interview: Prof Nicholas Taylor on strength training and mobility in young people with cerebral palsy

In young people with cerebral palsy, strength training increases the forces that their muscles produce. But does that mean that strength training helps young people with cerebral palsy walk better? Professor Nicholas Taylor talks about strength training and mobility in young people with cerebral palsy.      


Prof Rob Herbert selects his “Paper of the Year” for 2017

People who have had a stroke may develop disabling spasticity and contracture. In the upper limb, spasticity and contracture sometime manifest as a characteristic postural deformity: in standing, the relaxed arm is held with the shoulder adducted and internally rotated, the elbow flexed and pronated, and the wrist and fingers […]


3D architecture of muscles during growth

Body mass and body size increase during growth. Muscles must adapt during growth to deal with these changes. However, little is known about the modifications in the three dimensional geometry (e.g. cross-sectional area, fibre length) of developing muscles (Bénard et al. 2011; Böl et al. 2017). Knowledge about the structural […]


Training for muscle endurance after stroke

Previous research supports the use of resistance training as a safe and effective exercise intervention for disabled stroke patients (Lee et al. 2010; Pak & Patten 2008). Although resistance training programs for stroke typically target improvements in maximal muscle strength, gains in muscle endurance (i.e. the ability to sustain submaximal […]


Recovery from stroke after more than 20 years

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?

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 […]