Research

Dr. Wanek's Research

Dr. Wanek's clinical research is in the area of adolescent medicine especially adolescents and children with back pain and other aches and pains. The first study in collaboration with Professor Arriaga surveyed high school students and found that a large percentage had back pain of long duration. There were no correlations with back pain and anything such as sports or time watching TV or time spent studying, etc. Pain spikes about the time of puberty. Dr. Wanek and Professor Arriaga then went on to determine the effects of education on proper biomechanics. They developed an education module for 5th grade students and taught these students prior to puberty about proper keyboarding and lifting. Their first study showed that a brief intervention was retained for over one year. The same group will be retested this year and a pain survey will be added. The students will then have been studied in 5th, 6th, and now 8th grades.

Dr. Radtka's Research

Dr. Radtka research and specialized clinical evaluations involve motion analysis (kinematics and kinetics) and electromyographic studies of gait and stair climbing with orthoses in children with cerebral palsy, sitting balance in children with and without cerebral palsy, and effects of physical therapy treatment on sitting balance in children with cerebral palsy. She is expanding her previous gait and sitting balance studies with children to adults with neurological disorders.

Dr. Allen's Research

Dr. Allen has several areas of research all with an underlying theme of outcome measurement. Currently, she is working on a computerized test of movement accuracy, the AccuTrak, which is in field-testing and will eventually be employed in patient populations. She is a co-author on a grant proposal for testing the effect of torso weights on the movement of people with multiple sclerosis. She is collaborating with faculty in other departments in developing fall risk assessment for seniors. She is consulting on several projects to design the research and analyze the outcomes of rehabilitation. Future interests include initiation of a study using her Movement Ability Measure, a questionnaire, as one of the outcome tools to document effectiveness of intervention in a patient population.