BACKGROUND

Preventing injuries and reducing the impact of chronic stress are key concerns for today’s warfighters and military leaders. They physical and psychological consequences of injuries can not only decrease the health, well-being, performance, and readiness of individual service members, they can also have a negative impact on unit and mission readiness.

Our Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation researchers are biomedical engineers, physiologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, nutritionists, and hardware and software engineers.

VALUE

Our researchers leverage their expertise and the unique capabilities of NHRC’s Warfighter Performance Laboratory, including an immersive (IVRE), to investigate factors that contribute to and mitigate physical and cognitive injuries. We also evaluate advanced rehabilitation programs for wounded warriors with amputation, musculoskeletal injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

GOALS

  • Mitigate and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Conduct operationally relevant research in warfighter physiology and provide feedback and information to leadership in support of decision-making and improved mission readiness
  • Conduct research that tangibly improves warfighter physical and cognitive readiness through advanced, interactive technology in collaboration with clinicians and military stakeholders
  • Develop strategies to build resilience by identifying factors that influence physiologic responses to mental and physical stress
  • Evaluate predictors of dissociative states such as coping skills, physical fitness, and gender
  • Define the physical and cognitive limits of injured warfighters
  • Evaluate new technologies for measuring performance and reducing injuries Improve wounded warrior care and rehabilitation

CAPABILITIES

  • Physiological and cognitive rehabilitation research using the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) to provide an IVRE that mirrors real-world situations and scenarios
  • Clinical investigation and experimental therapeutics research
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) testing and evaluation

RESEARCH

  • Evaluation of changes in lumbar spine kinematics with carriage load in infantry Marines
  • Fall prevention training for warfighters with lower extremity trauma
  • Evaluation of targeted, novel vestibular rehabilitation programs for TBI
  • Exposure based therapy for PTSD
  • Evaluation of functional movement measures of performance and injury prevention
  • Risk of musculoskeletal injuries based on physical fitness levels in infantry Marines
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