Carolyn A Richardson

Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (109)214.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) for astronauts in space (68%) is higher than the 1-mo prevalence for the general population on Earth (39%). It is unclear whether differences occur between healthy subjects and astronauts with a history of LBP. Knowledge of this issue is important to assess whether a history of LBP could have an operational impact. We evaluated LBP prospectively during short duration spaceflight (15 d; N = 20) and compared this with similar data collected during two bed rest studies (N = 40). Astronauts completed a questionnaire 5-10 d preflight, during each flight day, and 5-10 d postflight. All astronauts with a history of LBP also developed LBP in flight. These astronauts reported a significantly longer duration of LBP and a different pain location. LBP was most often experienced in the central area of the lower back during spaceflight with an incidence of 70% and a mean pain level of 3 (on a scale of 0-10). Pain resolved within 10 d of flight. No neurological signs were present. The most frequently reported countermeasure was assuming a "knees to chest (fetal tuck) position" combined with stretching. Greater LBP intensity was reported in spaceflight than bed rest with a trend indicating a greater number of days of pain during spaceflight. The current study represents a prospective study of LBP in spaceflight. The results indicate that LBP is self-limiting in spaceflight and should not pose an operational risk. Prior LBP on Earth appears to be a risk factor for LBP in spaceflight. Pool-Goudzwaard AL, Belavý DL, Hides JA, Richardson CA, Snijders CJ. Low back pain in microgravity and bed rest studies. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015; 86(6):541-547.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the pattern of muscle activation of the individual hip adductor muscles using a standardised simulated unilateral weight-bearing task. Design: A repeated measures design. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 20 healthy individuals (11 females, 9 males) participated in the study. Age ranged from 20 to 25 years. Main outcome measurements: Surface electromyography recordings from adductor magnus and adductor longus muscles were taken at levels representing 10-50% of body weight during a simulated weight-bearing task. Electromyography (EMG) data were normalised to maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Results: The adductor magnus was recruited at significantly higher levels than the adductor longus muscle during a simulated weight-bearing task performed across 10-50% of body weight (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Adductor magnus and adductor longus muscles are recruited to different extents during a simulated weight-bearing task. This information should be considered when selecting exercises for management and prevention of groin strains. Closed chain exercises with weight-bearing through the lower limb are more likely to recruit the adductor magnus muscle over the adductor longus muscle.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Physical Therapy in Sport
  • J. A. Hides · C. A. Richardson · G. A. Jull
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    ABSTRACT: Op dit moment wordt in de geneeskunde uitgebreid gebruikgemaakt van real-time echografie. Deze methode is een veilige, kosteneffectieve en zeer toegankelijke onderzoekmethode ten aanzien van verschillende organen en weefsels. Een gebied waarop echografie heeft bewezen nuttig te zijn is onderzoek naar pathologie van het bewegingsapparaat. Weefsels die kunnen worden afgebeeld zijn onder andere spieren, pezen, gewrichten, banden en bursae. Een van de meest bruikbare eigenschappen van real-time echografie is dat de beweging bij anatomische structuren kan worden waargenomen terwijl ze daadwerkelijk optreedt. Dit heeft de ontwikkeling mogelijk gemaakt van real-time echografie voor revalidatie door middel van waarneming van de spiercontractie teneinde via deze manier feedback te geven. De mogelijkheid diepe spieren in beeld te brengen is een voordeel van de techniek en echografie is bijvoorbeeld met succes opgenomen in technieken voor beoordeling en facilitatie van de m. transversus abdominis en multifidus bij patiënten met lage-rugpijn (lrp). Het doel van dit artikel is een kort overzicht te verschaffen van de technieken, de voor- en nadelen van echografie en deze nieuwe toepassing van real-time echografie met betrekking tot revalidatie te bespreken. Het huidige gebruik van real-time echografie bij lrp-patiënten wordt beschreven en toekomstige mogelijkheden voor toepassing in revalidatie en de beperkingen worden besproken.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Stimulus
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the effects of a resistive vibration exercise (RVE) countermeasure on changes in lumbo-pelvic muscle motor control during prolonged bed-rest, 20 male subjects took part in the Berlin Bed-Rest Study (in 2003-2005) and were randomised to a RVE group or an inactive control group. Surface electromyographic signals recorded from five superficial lumbo-pelvic muscles during a repetitive knee movement task. The task, which required stabilisation of the lumbo-pelvic region, was performed at multiple movement speeds and at multiple time points during and after bed-rest. After excluding effects that could be attributed to increases in subcutaneous fat changes and improvements in movement skill, we found that the RVE intervention ameliorated the generalised increases in activity ratios between movement speeds (p⩽0.012), reductions in lumbo-pelvic extensor and flexor co-contraction (p=0.058) and increases in root-mean-square electromyographic amplitude (p=0.001) of the lumbar erector spinae muscles. Effects of RVE on preventing increases in amplitude-modulation (p=0.23) of the lumbar erector spinae muscles were not significant. Few significant changes in activation-timing were seen. The RVE intervention during bed-rest, with indirect loading of the spine during exercise, was capable of reducing some, but not all, motor control changes in the lumbo-pelvic musculature during and after bed-rest.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
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    ABSTRACT: Microgravity and inactivity due to prolonged bed rest have been shown to result in atrophy of spinal extensor muscles such as the multifidus, and either no atrophy or hypertrophy of flexor muscles such as the abdominal group and psoas muscle. These effects are long-lasting after bed rest and the potential effects of rehabilitation are unknown. This two-group intervention study aimed to investigate the effects of two rehabilitation programs on the recovery of lumbo-pelvic musculature following prolonged bed rest. 24 subjects underwent 60 days of head down tilt bed rest as part of the 2nd Berlin BedRest Study (BBR2-2). After bed rest, they underwent one of two exercise programs, trunk flexor and general strength (TFS) training or specific motor control (SMC) training. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbo-pelvic region was conducted at the start and end of bed rest and during the recovery period (14 and 90 days after re-ambulation). Cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the multifidus, psoas, lumbar erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles were measured from L1 to L5. Morphological changes including disc volume, spinal length, lordosis angle and disc height were also measured. Both exercise programs restored the multifidus muscle to pre-bed-rest size, but further increases in psoas muscle size were seen in the TFS group up to 14 days after bed rest. There was no significant difference in the number of low back pain reports for the two rehabilitation groups (p=.59). The TFS program resulted in greater decreases in disc volume and anterior disc height. The SMC training program may be preferable to TFS training after bed rest as it restored the CSA of the multifidus muscle without generating potentially harmful compressive forces through the spine.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · European Spine Journal
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    ABSTRACT: prospective longitudinal study. to evaluate the effect of bed-rest on the lumbar musculature and soft-tissues. earlier work has suggested that the risk of low back injury is higher after overnight bed-rest or spaceflight. Changes in spinal morphology and atrophy in musculature important in stabilizing the spine could be responsible for this, but there are limited data on how the lumbar musculature and vertebral structures are affected during bed-rest. nine male subjects underwent 60-days head-down tilt bed-rest as part of the second Berlin Bed-Rest Study. Disc volume, intervertebral spinal length, intervertebral lordosis angle, and disc height were measured on sagittal plane magnetic resonance images. Axial magnetic resonance images were used to measure cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the multifidus (MF), erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and psoas from L1 to L5. Subjects completed low back pain (LBP) questionnaires for the first 7-days after bed-rest. increases in disc volume, spinal length (greatest at lower lumbar spine), loss of the lower lumbar lordosis, and move to a more lordotic position at the upper lumbar spine (P < 0.0097) were seen. The CSAs of all muscles changed (P < 0.002), with the rate of atrophy greatest at L4 and L5 in MF (P < 0.002) and at L1 and L2 in the erector spinae (P = 0.0006). Atrophy of the quadratus lumborum was consistent throughout the muscle (P = 0.15), but CSA of psoas muscle increased (P < 0.0001). Subjects who reported LBP after bed-rest showed, before reambulation, greater increases in posterior disc height, and greater losses of MF CSA at L4 and L5 than subjects who did not report pain (all P < 0.085). these results provide evidence that changes in the lumbar discs during bed-rest and selective atrophy of the MF muscle may be important factors in the occurrence of LBP after prolonged bed-rest.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Spine
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    L. M. Johnston · Y R Burns · S. G. Brauer · C A Richardson
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    ABSTRACT: At least 6% of primary school aged children present with DCD, where co-ordination is substantially below the normal range for the child’s age and intelligence. Motor skill difficulties negatively affect academic achievement, recreation and activities of daily living. Poor upper-limb co-ordination is a common difficulty for children with DCD. A possible cause of this problem is deviant muscle timing in proximal muscle groups, which results in poor postural and movement control. While studies have been published investigating postural control in response to external perturbations, detail about postural muscle activity during voluntary movement is limited even in children with normal motor development. No studies have investigated the relationship between muscle timing, resultant arm motion and upper-limb coordination deficits. Objectives: To investigate the relationship between functional difficulties with upper-limb motor skills and neuromuscular components of postural stability and coordination. Specifically, to investigate onset-timing of muscle activity, timing of arm movement, and resultant three-dimensional (3D) arm co-ordination during rapid, voluntary arm movement and to analyse differences arising due to the presence of DCD. This study is part of a larger research program investigating postural stability and control of upper limb movement in children. Design: A controlled, cross-sectional study of differences between children with and without DCD. Methods: This study included 50 children aged eight to 10 years (25 with DCD and 25 without DCD). Children participated in assessment of motor skills according to the Movement ABC Test and a laboratory study of rapid, voluntary arm movements. Parameters investigated included muscle activation timing of shoulder and trunk muscles (surface electromyography), arm movement timing (light sensor) and resultant 3D arm motion (Fastrak). Results: A MANOVA is being used to analyse between-group differences. Preliminary results indicate children with DCD demonstrate altered muscle timing during a rapid arm raise when compared with the control group of children. Conclusion: Differences in proximal muscle timing in children with DCD support the hypothesis that altered proximal muscle activity may contribute to poor proximal stability and consequently poor arm movement control. This has implications for clinical physiotherapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011
  • J. A. Hides · C A Richardson

    No preview · Article · Jan 2011
  • Carolyn Richardson · Julie Hides

    No preview · Article · Jan 2011
  • Carolyn Richardson · Julie Hides

    No preview · Article · Jan 2011
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effect of short-duration, high-load resistive exercise, with and without whole body vibration on lumbar muscle size, intervertebral disk and spinal morphology changes, and low back pain (LBP) incidence during prolonged bed rest, 24 subjects underwent 60 days of head-down tilt bed rest and performed either resistive vibration exercise (n = 7), resistive exercise only (n = 8), or no exercise (n = 9; 2nd Berlin Bed-Rest Study). Discal and spinal shape was measured from sagittal plane magnetic resonance images. Cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the multifidus, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and psoas were measured on para-axial magnetic resonance images. LBP incidence was assessed with questionnaires at regular intervals. The countermeasures reduced CSA loss in the multifidus, lumbar erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles, with greater increases in psoas muscle CSA seen in the countermeasure groups (P ≤ 0.004). There was little statistical evidence for an additional effect of whole body vibration above resistive exercise alone on these muscle changes. Exercise subjects reported LBP more frequently in the first week of bed rest, but this was only significant in resistive exercise only (P = 0.011 vs. control, resistive vibration exercise vs. control: P = 0.56). No effect of the countermeasures on changes in spinal morphology was seen (P ≥ 0.22). The results suggest that high-load resistive exercise, with or without whole body vibration, performed 3 days/wk can reduce lumbar muscle atrophy, but further countermeasure optimization is required.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Applied Physiology

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · European Spine Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to obtain, using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), muscle volume measurements for the gluteus maximus (upper: UGM and lower: LGM portions) and tensor fascia lata (TFL) muscles in both healthy subjects (n=12) and those with unilateral osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip (mild: n=6, and advanced: n=6). While control group subjects were symmetrical between sides for the muscles measured, subjects with hip joint pathology showed asymmetry in GM muscle volume dependent on stage of pathology. The LGM demonstrated atrophy around the affected hip in subjects with advanced pathology (p<0.05), however asymmetry of the UGM (p<0.01) could be attributed largely to hypertrophy on the unaffected side, based on between group comparisons of muscle volume. TFL showed no significant asymmetry, or difference compared to the normal control group. This study highlights the functional separation of UGM and LGM, and the similarities of the UGM and TFL, both superficial abductors appearing to maintain their size around the affected hip. Further research is required to determine the specific changes occurring in the deeper abductor muscles. This information may assist in the development of more targeted and effective exercise programmes in the management of OA of the hip.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Manual therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with medical, orthopaedic and surgical conditions are often assigned to bed-rest and/or immobilised in orthopaedic devices. Although such conditions lead to muscle atrophy, no studies have yet considered differential atrophy of the lower-limb musculature during inactivity to enable the development of rehabilitative exercise programmes. Bed-rest is a model used to simulate the effects of spaceflight and physical inactivity. Ten male subjects underwent 56-days of bed-rest. Magnetic resonance imaging of the lower-limbs was performed at 2-weekly intervals during bed-rest. Volume of individual muscles of the lower-limb and subsequently, rates of atrophy were calculated. Rates of atrophy differed (F = 7.4, p < 0.0001) between the muscles with the greatest rates of atrophy seen in the medial gastrocnemius, soleus and vastii (p < 0.00000002). The hamstring muscles were also affected (p < 0.00015). Atrophy was less in the ankle dorsiflexors and anteromedial hip muscles (p > 0.081). Differential rates of atrophy were seen in synergistic muscles (e.g. adductor magnus > adductor longus, p = 0.009; medial gastrocnemius > lateral gastrocnemius, p = 0.002; vastii > rectus femoris, p = 0.0002). These results demonstrate that muscle imbalances can occur after extended periods of reduced postural muscle activity, potentially hampering recovery on return to full upright body position. Such deconditioned patients should be prescribed "closed-chain" simulated resistance exercises, which target the lower-limb antigravity extensor muscles which were most affected in bed-rest.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Arbeitsphysiologie
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged bed rest and inactivity is known to cause muscular atrophy with previous research indicating that muscles involved in joint stabilisation are more susceptible. The anterior hip muscles are important for hip joint function and stability but little is known about the effects of prolonged inactivity on their function. This study investigated the effect of prolonged bed rest on the size of the anterior hip muscles and their pattern of recovery. The effect of resistive vibration exercise (RVE) as a countermeasure to muscle atrophy was also investigated. 12 male participants, randomly assigned to either a control or an exercise group, underwent 8 weeks of bed rest with 6 months follow-up. Changes in muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) of the iliacus, psoas, iliopsoas, sartorius and rectus femoris muscles were measured by magnetic resonance imaging at regular intervals during bed rest and recovery phases. CSAs of iliopsoas and sartorius decreased at the hip joint (p<0.05) during bed rest but iliacus, psoas, and rectus femoris CSAs were unchanged (p>0.05). No significant difference was found between the two groups for all muscles (all p>0.1), suggesting inefficacy of the countermeasure in this sample. These findings suggest that prolonged bed rest can result in the atrophy of specific muscles across the hip joint which may affect its stability and function.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Gait & posture
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate changes in the deep abductor muscles, gluteus medius (GMED), piriformis (PIRI), and gluteus minimus (GMIN), occurring in association with differing stages of unilateral degenerative hip joint pathology (mild: n=6, and advanced: n=6). Muscle volume assessed via magnetic resonance imaging was compared for each muscle between sides, and between groups (mild, advanced, control (n=12)). GMED and PIRI muscle volume was smaller around the affected hip in subjects with advanced pathology (p<0.01, p<0.05) while no significant asymmetry was present in the mild and control groups. GMIN showed a trend towards asymmetry in the advanced group (p=0.1) and the control group (p=0.076) which appears to have been associated with leg dominance. Between group differences revealed a significant difference for the GMED muscle reflecting larger muscle volumes on the affected side in subjects with mild pathology, compared to matched control hips. This information suggests that while GMED appears to atrophy in subjects with advanced hip joint pathology, it may be predisposed to hypertrophy in early stages of pathology. Assessment and exercise prescription methods should consider that the response of muscles of the abductor synergy to joint pathology is not homogenous between muscles or across stages of pathology.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Manual therapy

  • No preview · Article · May 2009 · Bone
  • D. L. Belavy · G. Armbrecht · C. A. Richardson · J. A. Hides · D. Felsenberg

    No preview · Article · May 2009 · Bone
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the motor control of the lumbo-pelvic musculature in microgravity and its simulation (bed-rest). Analysis of spectral and temporal electromyographic variables can provide information on motor control relevant for normal function. This study examined the effect of 56-days of bed-rest with 1-year follow-up in 10 male subjects on the median frequency and the activation timing in surface electromyographic recordings from five superficial lumbo-pelvic muscles during a repetitive knee movement task. Trunk fat mass (from whole body-composition measurements) and movement accuracy as possible explanatory factors were included. Increased median frequency was observed in the lumbar erector spinae starting late in bed-rest, but this was not seen in its synergist, the thoracic erector spinae (p < .0001). These changes persisted up to 1-year after bed-rest and were independent of changes in body-composition or movement accuracy. Analysis suggested decreases of median frequency (p < .0001) in the abdominal and gluteal muscles to result from increased (p < .01) trunk fat levels during and after bed-rest. No changes in lumbo-pelvic muscle activation timing were seen. The results suggest that bed-rest particularly affects the shorter lumbar erector spinae and that the temporal sequencing of superficial lumbo-pelvic muscle activation is relatively robust.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2009 · Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
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    ABSTRACT: An important aspect of neuromuscular control at the lumbo-pelvic region is stabilization. Subjects with low back pain (LBP) have been shown to exhibit impairments in motor control of key muscles which contribute to stabilization of the lumbo-pelvic region. However, a test of automatic recruitment that relates to function has been lacking. A previous study used ultrasound imaging to show that healthy subjects automatically recruited the transversus abdominis (TrA) and internal oblique (IO) muscles in response to a simulated weight-bearing task. This task has not been investigated in subjects with LBP. The aim of this study was to compare the automatic recruitment of the abdominal muscles among subjects with and without LBP in response to the simulated weight-bearing task. Twenty subjects with and without LBP were tested. Real-time ultrasound imaging was used to assess changes in thickness of the TrA and internal oblique IO muscles as well as lateral movement ("slide") of the anterior fascial insertion of the TrA muscle. Results showed that subjects with LBP showed significantly less shortening of the TrA muscle (P < 0.0001) and greater increases in thickness of the IO muscle (P = 0.002) with the simulated weight-bearing task. There was no significant difference between groups for changes in TrA muscle thickness (P = 0.055). This study provides evidence of changes in motor control of the abdominal muscles in subjects with LBP. This test may provide a functionally relevant and non-invasive method to investigate the automatic recruitment of the abdominal muscles in people with and without LBP.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2008 · European Spine Journal

Publication Stats

8k Citations
214.06 Total Impact Points


  • 2010-2015
    • Australian Catholic University
      • School of Physiotherapy
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1990-2015
    • University of Queensland
      • • School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
      • • Department of Physiotherapy
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2009
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Center for Muscle and Bone Research
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 1997-2002
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
      • Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • Department of Neuroscience
      Сольна, Stockholm, Sweden