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Musculoskeletal Sports Medicine Group

This research group is engaged in a range of research projects (multidisciplinary in particular), external collaborations, PhD projects, and internal/external funding applications. While shoulder / upper limb research has been a key strategic theme for this research group, investigating the impact of interventions to improve musculoskeletal health in clinical conditions, musculoskeletal ageing, and biomechanical research into health and diseases have grown over the past few years. The research group has access to high-quality research facilities within well-equipped laboratories (e.g. 3D motion analysis systems, wireless EMG systems, IKD, range of dynamometers, force platforms, DEXA scanner), S&C suite, and on-site Physiotherapy and Sport Rehabilitation clinic.

1. Upper Limb / Shoulder Research

The School of Health and Sport Sciences has established an internationally recognised research environment in the field of Shoulder and Upper Limb Research since 2013. Some key activities/achievement include:

  • Biannual international Shoulder Rehabilitation Conference: this conference established in 2017 with the 3rd one held in 2022.
  • Upper limb research partnership with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) since July 2018.
  • Research collaboration with the Liverpool University Hospitals in a range of shoulder/upper limb projects.
  • Kinetic Chain research and its impact on overhead athletes, particularly those with shoulder-related injuries and potential prehabilitation and rehabilitation approaches aimed at strengthening and maintaining function across the whole Kinetic Chain.
  • PhD projects (e.g. The influence of Kinetic Chain sequencing on throwing performance in athletes with and without shoulder injuries; Pathophysiology of subacromial impingement syndrome; neuromuscular profiling of the throwing shoulder; kinematics and muscle activation profiles in reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

2. Musculoskeletal Function in Health and Diseases

  • Healthy Muscle Ageing: It has increasingly become a strategic target to gravitate collaborative research towards ageing muscle. In a pilot collaborative project led by the LJMU and funded by the ART of Healthy Ageing Network, we are aiming to establish a translational research network focused on improving the muscle health of older adults in the Liverpool City Region. This project exploits a new technique, muscle proteome dynamics, capable of studying the quality of thousands of proteins in human muscle
  • Musculoskeletal Health in clinical conditions: The muscle health is inversely affected by chronic clinical conditions particularly in older adults. Hence, investigating skeletal muscle health and function in clinical populations is currently one of the focused research themes. The team is currently involved in a collaborative project with University of Liverpool and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital looking into multivariate biomarkers (including musculoskeletal) of sarcopenia in older adults with heart failure. Furthermore, a proposal is being developed in collaboration with the English Institute of Sport and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital which aims to investigate the kinematics and kinetics of the trunk in patients with COPD before and after a respiratory rehabilitation programme. The study finding would guide further optimisation of the rehabilitation intervention.   

3. Biomechanical Research in Health and Diseases

  • EMG in clinical gait analysis practice: Clinical gait analysis has become a vital tool to help diagnose musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders as well as guide surgical and treatment planning. Electromyography (EMG) is often underutilised as an information tool within the clinical gait analysis setting. A project funded by the Clinical Movement Analysis Society CMAS (in collaboration with The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and Exeter University) aims to investigate and evaluate some of the barriers to EMG usage within clinical practice across the UK and Europe. The study would potentially guide the standards of quality assurance and usage of EMG within the gait lab as well as promote understanding and knowledge.
  • Real-time biofeedback to reduce knee joint loading in Alkaptonuria patients: In collaboration with LJMU and The National Alkaptonuria Centre a PhD project focuses on reducing the knee joint loading in Alkaptonuria patients (a rare degenerative metabolic disease affecting joint cartilage). The PhD project aims to refine a real-time biofeedback method and gait intervention protocol to provide effective and individualised results. If effective this intervention has the potential to delay the progression of the disease and invasive and timely joint replacement surgeries. 

Current members:

Professor Omid Khaiyat

Dr Ginny Coyles

Dr Liam Owens

Dr Hannah Shepherd

Dr Matthew Jackson

Mr Daniel Richards

Mrs Victoria Joyce

Miss Eleanor Parker

Mr Paul Billington

Mrs Jane Ashbrook