Preeti Raghavan, M.D., joined the faculty of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 2002. Her clinical interests include the treatment of individuals with brain injury, and the rehabilitation of neurological and orthopedic disorders. Her area of specialty is the rehabilitation of motor control in the upper-extremity in individuals who have had a stroke.
She is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and runs the Motor Recovery Research Laboratory at Mount Sinai. The long-term goal of her research is to understand the mechanisms underlying the recovery of voluntary motor functions in brain-injured patients in order to design effective therapeutic strategies to facilitate motor recovery. Her present research investigates the recovery of hand motor control in patients with stroke using precise analyses of finger-tip forces, finger, hand and arm movements, and muscle recruitment patterns during natural upper-extremity movements.
Here is a summary of the research discussed in this podcast:
Relationship between forearm pain and postural muscle activation in keyboardists
Musicians, typists, and other individuals whose occupation requires static posture and repetitive or forceful hand or finger movements commonly develop Upper Extremity Overuse Injury, which refers to pain felt primarily in the forearms and shoulders. While a vast amount of research has been done on the biomechanical causes behind overuse injuries, much less is known about the underlying neurophysiological pathology. Dr. Raghavan and her team hope to expand the understanding of neurophysiological pathology by studying playing-related musculoskeletal disorders in keyboardists.
The goal of this study is to first characterize the neurophysiological differences between keyboardists with and without playing related musculoskeletal disorders. Specifically, they will investigate whether reflexes between muscles of the arm and the upper back are altered in individuals with playing related musculoskeletal disorders. The second goal is to compare two common therapeutic approaches to playing related musculoskeletal disorders: one focused on restoring the balance of postural muscles (proximal therapy) and the other focused on treating the site of injury directly (distal therapy), and to investigate whether either type of therapy can effectively restore altered reflex relationships.
Forty keyboardists with and without playing related musculoskeletal disorders will be enrolled. Participants will complete tests to measure their trapezius reflexes, response to biofeedback training of the various divisions of the trapezius, and co-activation index between arm muscles while playing. Next, participants with playing related musculoskeletal disorders will be randomized to receive either four weeks of proximal or distal therapy. At the end of four weeks, participants will repeat the above tests.
Individuals who wish to participate in this study may contact Dr. Raghavan at 212-241-9592 or email her at preeti.raghavan (at) mountsinai.org.