|academic collaborators:||University of Nottingham|
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) are the most common occupational illness in the UK, affecting over a million people a year and having significant finanical implications to society. They include problems such as low back pain, joint injuries and repetitive strain injuries of various sorts and arise from ergonomic exposures such as forceful exertions, highly repetitive motions, sustained static muscle loading, awkward body postures and whole body and segmental vibration.
It is thought that disorders generally arise from cummulative or repetitive exposures which give rise to micro-lesions in muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Muscle damage is not thought to become a source of chronic pain because muscle tends to heal rapidly, such tissues having good vascularity, oxygenation and nutrition. However, lesions in joints and avascular ligamentous tissues heal poorly and are therefore more likely to be the cause of chronic symptoms.
Injury is followed by a complex healing process which is essentially the same for all soft-tissue injuries. Relatively little modelling and experimental work has been undertaken to investigate how soft-tissue injuries of this type heal and the field raises a variety of novel challenges involving the nonlinear interactions which occur between the tissue mechanics, recovery and loading.
This project will construct mathematical models of the pathomechanisms of WRMSDs. Integrative biology and multi-scale modelling will be used to combine existing research on wound healing and soft tissue growth under stress to construct novel generic soft tissue models. These will be of predictive value in determining the important pathomechanisms associated with WRMSDs and in identifying what helps / hinders the recovery process.
Project staff and support
Joe Dunster (Postgraduate Associate, University of Nottingham)
John King (Academic supervisor, University of Nottingham)
Susan Franks (Industrial supervisor, HSL)
Tim Boxer (Technology Translator, Industrial Mathematics KTN)
This project is being carried out at the University of Nottingham, in conjunction with HSL. It is supported by an EPSRC industrial CASE award, made available through the Knowledge Transfer Network for Industrial Mathematics. Start date: October 2006; duration: 3.5 years.
|»||Mathematical modelling of musculoskeletal disorders|
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