Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences

The RMS concentration aims to train rehabilitation research clinicians and scientists who will focus on the understanding of movement control through multiple types of measurement. This concentration will examine body function/structure and activity in the able-bodied and in the disabled to potentially enhance physical and psychosocial functioning. Additionally, research will focus on increasing participation among the functionally impaired, thereby impacting the quality of life of people with disabilities. This pursuit of scientific inquiry for RMS crosses all levels of the ICF model.

Special emphasis will be placed on the measurement of movement, including kinematics (position), kinetics (forces and moments) and EMG (muscle activity); muscle physiology and function (muscle physiological cross-sectional area), and energetics (metabolic and mechanical). These body and structure measurements will be studied around the neuro-musculoskeletal basis of movement, given central nervous system mechanisms. The RMS concentration will be supported by theories of motor control, motor learning, and biomechanics. Areas of study may include balance and vestibular-ocular disorders; athletic performance; diabetes and wound healing physiology; body composition and obesity; physical interventions for cancer, and movement deficits in other disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, stroke and spinal cord injury. The RMS concentration uses quantitative methods in the measurement of body structure and function. However, students will also be required to relate these measurements to functional activities and societal participation and learn how these discoveries can not only improve clinical practice, but also inform health policy.