Our research group is interested in developing new and innovative treatments for the rehabilitation of children with neuromuscular impairments. Our current research projects address two main topics:

  • Development of Sitting – determine how sitting postural control changes over time, and how these changes interrelate with learning and function.
  • Walking and Balance - quantifying how the neuromuscular impairments seen in children with cerebral palsy influence their ability to maintain a stable walking pattern. 

Physical Therapy TreadmillEquipment:

The Laboratory is equipped with an eight camera, Vicon 3-D motion analysis system, 16 channel Motion Laboratory electromyography (EMG) system, and four AMTI (Advanced Mechanical Technology Inc.) force platforms installed in a 20 meter walkway. This system provides integrated motion, EMG and force platform information for analysis of gait.

A two camera videography system with digital effects generator, VCR and monitor to record dual channel video of gait is also available. The video system allows for studio quality, split screen videotapes for visual gait analysis.

The Lab is also equipped with a Biodex dynamometer for assessment of dynamic muscle strength, electrogoniometers, treadmill, partial weight support system for gait training and specialty force platforms for the assessment of sitting and standing balance.

Personnel:

Primary Investigators:

Regina Harbourne, PT, PhD, PCSSitting study
Max Kurz, PhD
Wayne Stuberg, PT, PhD, PCS, FAPTA

Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Mary Kaleta, DPT

Graduate Assistants / PhD Students:

Dave Arpin
Brenda Davies
Swati Surkar, PT

Research Clinicians:

Lynn Capoun, PT
Brad Corr, DPT
Sandy Willett, PT, MS, PCS

Collaborators:

Nicholas Stergiou, PhD, UNO Nebraska Core Biomechanics Facility
Tony Wilson, PhD, UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences
Cole Galloway, PT, PhD, University of Delaware
Stacey Dusing, PT, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University

Current Research Projects:

  • Development of sitting posture:Evaluation of a perceptual-motor intervention and an intervention which adds stochastic noise to the sitting support surface, directed toward improving function in the sitting position and participation through play.
  • Improving balance in children with vestibular or balance disorders:Evaluation of a rehabilitation protocol that evaluates if electrotactile balance feedback provided on the tongue can be used to improve the balance of children with vestibular or other disorders that disturb balance such as in cerebral palsy.
  • Improving balance in adults with multiple sclerosis: Evaluation of a rehabilitation protocol that evaluates if electrotactile balance feedback provided on the tongue can be used to improve the balance of adults with multiple sclerosis.

Funding:

The Motion Analysis Lab receives research funding from a variety of sources including the Hattie B Munroe Foundation, American Physical Therapy Association Section on Pediatrics, the Nebraska Research Initiative and the MMI Women's Guild.

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