Muscle & contracture


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 […]


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, […]