Into the lab: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and low back pain are among the single largest category of workplace injuries according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and account for nearly 30 percent of all workers’ compensation costs.

To advance research in the reduction of workplace-related injuries and the development of occupational safety research, associate professors of industrial and systems engineering Sean Gallagher, Richard Sesek and Jerry Davis are conducting research suggesting MSD risk is the result of fatigue failure in affected tissues.

The team authored a paper, “Effects of Force and Repetition on Inflammation due to Eccentric Muscle Contractions,” which examines the fatigue failure theory by measuring inflammation in muscle tissue using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), isometric strength and other measures of inflammation after participants completed sets of repetitive eccentric exercises.

Results of the study supported the fatigue failure theory through demonstration of a force-repetition interaction in the inflammatory response in the muscles caused by eccentric exercise. Furthermore, MRI use in the examination of inflammation in muscle tissues following an eccentric exercise protocol holds promise as an effective research technique that may be used in future studies.

Comments are closed.