Spent the weekend at the Rocky Mountain Chapter American Society of Biomechanics meeting (RMASB). It was a cool conference showcasing research done by graduate students and researchers in the region. One of the presentations that blew my mind was by Darryl Thelen about biarticulate muscles. Using a computer model, he showed that the over-activation of the rectus femoris muscle causes extension at the hip. Then, he showed that it worked on a real human being. Then he showed that it works on real human beings in normal walking, and not just theoretical models or controlled experiments. Very cool. Link to his abstract with the NIH: The message I took from his presentation was that the mechanics of the human body are far more complicated than muscle origins and insertions.
There was also an outstanding presentation by Alena Grabowski about her work with MIT in the development of a mechanical prosthetic ankle which simulated normal ankle responses. The prosthetic ankle improved gait mechanics and reduced energy expenditures to within normal levels!
After platforms and poster presentations (I did one!) the first night, several of us from different schools got together for
Cranium professional socialization. Lots of fun! Met some cool people working on cool stuff from schools in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska.
I also got to present a poster on FRR (flexion relaxation response) and low back pain. The research I'm doing right now is related to the sequence of activation of the glute max, lumbar erector spinae, and thoracic erector spinae. People in the study who developed back pain have a distinctly different sequence of activation of those muscle groups when returning to standing from a forward flexed position. Very cool stuff. Here is a picture of me explaining it.
This is going in my portfolio.
A few more pics I took wandering around at Estes Park YMCA:
RegisDPT achieving great heights. GO PT!
We're on a ROCK!
Thinking on a ROCK!
Sun setting over the rockies. I don't know what mountain, specifically. Erika is the one with the fancy phone app with mountain names.
Blue skies shining on me, nothing but blue skies...
Elk. I took one step and he lifted his head and stared at me. No Pics - I just left. No need to get mauled today. Awesome sunrise!
A view from the back door of the conference. Spec-freaking-tacular.