Neuromuscular Research Laboratory
The Neuromuscular Research Laboratory (NMRL) is the applied research facility of the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
The laboratory resides within the complex at the Rivertech Office Works at the end of South Water Street, next to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery's Biodynamics and Knee Biomechanics Laboratories.
Since 1990, the NMRL has initiated research in the areas of proprioception and neuromuscular control, in an attempt to answer many of the questions regarding the role of capsuloligamentous structures in the pathoetiology of joint injury. The objectives of our research has been to study comprehensive profiles of an individual's function by evaluating both the sensory and motor characteristics specific to musculoskeletal injury and pathology. Biomechanical and neuromuscular assessments under sports-simulated environments are used to determine specific variables including investigating the influence of weight distribution, muscle function, balance, flexibility, proprioception, gender, aging, and fatigue, as well as the effects of injury, surgery, and rehabilitation on joint stability. Deficiencies in body mechanics and muscle function are used to develop programs, not only to improve performance, but also minimize potential for injury. We have also applied this sports injury prevention and preformance enhancement model to the United States military in our Department of Defence research.
The laboratory encompasses 5,200 square feet of space and houses three separate motion analysis systems for specific task and sport analyses. The laboratory also features defined areas for sports physiology, proprioception, postural stability, and strength assessments. Additional space has been designed for faculty offices as well as a conference and classroom for the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition's sports medicine classes (MS and PhD).
In the summer of 2012 the NMRL expanded it's space in the Southside Rivertech Office Works by opening a new conference center and classroom. This space is just one building down from the Laboratory and has 3,000 square feet of space that includes faculty offices, research associate and staff workspaces, and a new high-tech conference and class room.
Begining with Ft. Cambell, KY in 2006, the NMRL has expanded from its Pittsburgh location by adding satellite laboratories at various military establishments, in accordence with it's line of DoD research. The NMRL currently has laboraties in place within Ft. Cambell, KY; Little Creek, VA; Stennis Space Center, MS; and Coronado, CA.
The NMRL is the central core of our DoD research and provides administrative and technical oversight. Technical responsibilities include data processing and management; database entry of laboratory, injury, and nutrition data; analysis of food records; development of testing protocols; piloting of new testing protocols; and collection of athletic model data. The NMRL is staffed by multidisciplinary research faculty and graduate students including athletic trainers, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, bioengineers, biomechanists, registered dietitians, medical doctors, and epidemiologists.