ProfessorDepartment of Neurological Sciences
My research program centers on the role of connective tissue in chronic pain and in the mechanisms of acupuncture, manual and movement-based therapies (e.g. massage, yoga). My studies have shown that mechanical tissue stimulation during both tissue stretch and acupuncture causes dynamic cellular responses in connective tissue. We also have shown that connective tissue fibroblasts actively participate in the regulation of connective tissue tension, and that connective tissue is abnormal in human subjects with chronic low back pain. Using a rodent model of connective tissue inflammation in the low back, my research group also showed that in vivo stretching can improve gait, mechanical sensitivity and local connective tissue inflammation. An ongoing project in pigs is investigating whether movement restriction can worsen connective tissue inflammation and whether the effects of movement restriction can be reversed by stretching.