Dr. Salsich Awarded Grant to Fund One Year Pilot Project

Saint Louis University's Dr. Gretchen Salsich of the Program in Physical TherapyThe Doisy College of Health Sciences is pleased to announce Gretchen Salsich, Ph.D., P.T., Professor in the Program in Physical Therapy, has been awarded a $49,952.00 grant from the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation and the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences for her one year pilot project, "Task-specific movement pattern training for treatment of patellofemoral pain." The pilot project will seek improved treatment techniques for patellofemoral joint pain. The project will take place in the musculoskeletal movement science laboratory in the Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO.

Patellofemoral joint pain causes persistent and potentially debilitating pain. PFP is also one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions. Despite the regularity, 25 percent of patients still are reporting substantial symptoms up to twenty years after diagnosis. Moreover, reduced physical activity is a common after conservative management, suggesting that traditional rehabilitation methods for PFP are inadequate.

Challenging current rehabilitation strategies that focus on generalized muscle strengthening, Dr. Salsich's project proposes to train people to adopt optimal movement patterns during their daily functional tasks, with a focus of increasing participation in meaningful physical activities. This treatment approach would decrease lengthy muscle strengthening programs that people would need to fit into their busy schedule and replace them with a treatment built into their regular daily functions. This would have potential positive repercussions for reducing healthcare costs due to rapid treatment outcome. Additionally, outcomes would have increased long-term adherence.

Dr. Salsich is thrilled to receive the funding and the promise for future funding. "I am grateful for the funding to support this pilot feasibility study. Prior to doing a large, expensive clinical trial, it is important to test the feasibility of the intervention first. Not only will I get preliminary information about whether this intervention will reduce pain and improves function, but I will know whether people will ‘buy into' the program enough to complete the training and adhere to their movement instructions in their daily activities. Having this data as part of a grant application for a future clinical trial would improve the likelihood of funding."

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