Contracture is a stiffening of the joints that accompanies a wide range of movement disorders, including stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy. It is a major cause of disability and deformity in these populations.
Our research examines the mechanisms of contracture in human muscles using novel biomechanical methods. We also conduct epidemiological studies to quantify the prevalence and incidence of contracture, and predict people who are most likely to develop contracture, and we conduct clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent and treat contracture.
Click here to access Prof Rob Herbert's research papers:
Rob Herbert completed a PhD at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (the forerunner of NeuRA) with Professor Simon Gandevia. Together they examined the neural drive to muscles in humans during voluntary contractions, and began a series of ongoing studies using ultrasonography to investigate the mechanical properties of human muscles in vivo. Rob conducts epidemiological studies and clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of physical interventions, particularly the use of stretch and passive movement for prevention and treatment of contracture and prevention of injury and muscle soreness. Rob is a founding Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy that produces the PEDro database (pedro.org.au), Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physiotherapy, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Physiology.