Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unlocking The Mechanics -- And Mysteries -- Of Joint Pain

Date:
December 7, 2007
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
When you think of towering skyscrapers and large bridges spanning deep valleys, you wouldn't normally link them to the joints and tendons throughout your body that allow you to move. One researcher does. It turns out that many of the same design principles are at work.

Medical scientist Dr. Gail Thornton is applying design principles developed by engineers to treat repetitive stress injuries in joints.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Calgary

When you think of towering skyscrapers and large bridges spanning deep valleys, you wouldn’t normally link them to the joints and tendons throughout your body that allow you to move. Dr. Gail Thornton does.

Related Articles


It turns out that many of the same design principles are at work. Thornton is both an engineer and a medical researcher and she’s breaking new ground in an area of medicine that has eluded most practitioners. The work she’s doing now could lead to new treatments for people suffering from repetitive stress injuries, a very common type of injury.

“We need to understand more about what’s happening to the way ligaments and tendons perform their functions; only then can we try to intervene and prevent damage from happening or improve therapies,” says Thornton, an assistant professor in the University of Calgary’s faculties of Medicine and Engineering, who carries out her research in the McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis.

There are still many unknowns about the way our complex system of ligaments, tendons and bones work together and, when injured, how they heal best. Thornton’s applying design principles used more commonly by engineers to uncover some of the mysteries.

Understanding the mechanics of the knee

Thornton’s specific focus is knee ligaments and their response to damage, such as an injury from repeatedly putting too much stress — or load — onto the ligaments over long periods of time. When one ligament is damaged in the knee — think about removing a load-bearing wall from a building — the remaining three ligaments in the knee must carry the weight, making the person more prone to a bad injury.

When baseball pitchers make each throw, the rotator cuff tendons in their shoulders have increased loads placed on them. Thornton’s research could lead to new ways to lessen the damage to them or better ways to treat their injuries.

Because she works so closely with other doctors in a vast range of disciplines, her research can be more easily incorporated into real-world treatments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Calgary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Unlocking The Mechanics -- And Mysteries -- Of Joint Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206162651.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2007, December 7). Unlocking The Mechanics -- And Mysteries -- Of Joint Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206162651.htm
University of Calgary. "Unlocking The Mechanics -- And Mysteries -- Of Joint Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206162651.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins