Long-term self-stretching increases muscle length in chronic hemiparesis 2

In stroke-induced hemiparesis, muscles such as the plantar flexors undergo dramatic alterations that involve both physical shortening (decrease in fascicle length) and viscoelastic loss of extensibility (Kwah et al., 2012). This muscle disorder has been termed spastic myopathy (Gracies, 2015) and is commonly treated with stretching techniques. However, the effectiveness […]

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 […]

Human muscles fascicles: what can ultrasound and diffusion tensor imaging reveal?

Following a stroke or spinal cord injury some people develop stiff joints, sometimes referred to as contracture. It is not well understood why contractures develop. Also, it is not clear whether they result from changes in the muscle or the tendon, which is why researchers and clinicians are very interested […]

Ultrasound imaging of tongue muscle movement

The human upper airway has many important physiological functions including speech, swallowing and breathing.  The human tongue forms an important part of the upper airway. It is made up of different muscles with origins both within and external to the tongue.  Among these, the genioglossus (GG) is the largest dilator […]

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 […]