Movement is integral to function and quality of life in human
beings. A dancer, who moves with artistic grace and athletic power, is faced
with movement challenges which are similar to the elderly person who is painstakingly
walking with a cane on a crowded street. Both must find the most effective
movement strategy to accomplish their task. The ability of an individual to
solve the challenges presented by the combination of environment and task is
called functional movement. The work done by the ADAM Center seeks to maximize
functional movement at all levels and in all populations.
Our research focuses on three determinants, or processes, which influence functional
movement. These are: skill acquisition or physical training, human development
or aging, and musculoskeletal injury or disease. Each process is inter-related.
Training enhances functional movement at all ages, while injury hampers function.
Human development plays a variable role, enhancing movement skills in the first
half (or more) of life and then reducing them via a combination of factors
as part of the aging process. The interplay between training, human development,
and injury is in constant flux. In general, the more active, better trained,
or younger individual may be at greater risk of injury, but is less likely
to suffer a functional loss. Over time, life style changes reduce activity
levels in most people. However, injury in older individuals generally results
in greater functional loss. At the ADAM Center, we believe it is possible to
identify the relative influence of these three key factors. This will lead
to greater understanding of the likelihood of functional loss following injury,
and improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation in restoring functional movement.
The ADAM Center believes that information generated in the laboratory
must be applied to real life clinical solutions. Conversely, problems identified
in the clinic, as well as techniques used, must be investigated or validated
in the laboratory. Finally, the combined knowledge must be shared with colleagues
and the community. To this end, the ADAM Center has three components - a research
laboratory, treatment and injury prevention programs, and regular dissemination
of our work at the community, university and international conference levels.
Our research paradigm is currently being used to identify the
functional movement effects of titleerations in the musculoskeletal system, either
through trauma or training in individuals across the life span. It is part
of the ADAM Center’s mission to identify the role that movement plays
in enhancing quality of life and how musculoskeletal injury or disease such
as arthritis or osteoporosis results in loss of function in individuals.
By combining the study of movement skills in the elderly with investigations
of highly skilled dancers, we intend to generate information that can lead
to improved standards of care and prevention of functional loss in all populations.
ADAM Center at LIU,
122 Ashland Place #1A,
Brooklyn, NY 11201