Rehabilitation Aimed at Muscle Performance

Research indicates that sustained physical inactivity leads to chronic degenerative conditions and premature death. Currently, approximately 75% of Canadians aged 50-75 years and 84% of those over 75 are physically inactive. The associated health and economic burdens will continue to escalate as the proportion of elderly British Columbians increases to 20% of the population by 2026. Physical activity can slow the progression of certain diseases; however, questions regarding cause-and-effect remain unanswered and specific exercise prescriptions for middle-aged and older people with acute, complex, and/or chronic health conditions are not clearly defined. RAMP comprises researchers from physiotherapy, kinesiology, sports medicine, orthopedics, respiratory medicine, engineering, geriatrics, and computer science disciplines. Using basic science, clinical, and translational approaches, the team is studying muscle deficits (atrophy, injury, and failure to train) at the cell, tissue, and whole body level among middle-aged and elderly people. From these investigations, the researchers will develop rehabilitation protocols to improve muscle performance and mobility. This team received an MSFHR Team Planning Award in 2006.