Dr Kylie Tucker

Senior Lecturer

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine

Affiliate Postdoctoral Res Fellow

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
k.tucker1@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52958

Overview

Kylie's primary research interest is in understanding the mechanisms that underlie human movement control in health and disease.

Kylie’s projects include assessing the effects of pain and fatigue on motor control parameters with a particular interest in single motor unit activity, developing new experimental pain models, assessing physiotherapy techniques for improved clinical outcomes, and introducing innovative methodologies to improve knowledge about muscle mechanical properties.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Adelaide

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • Supervisors: Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug and Professor Paul Hodges

    The effects of pain on movement have been widely studied during acute experimental pain and in people with clinical musculoskeletal pain conditions. Changes in movement control during pain are thought to reduce load on painful tissue to protect from further pain and/or injury. Although logical and generally assumed to be correct, there is surprisingly little evidence to provide definitive support for this theory. For example, using an innovative elastographic technique, we recently showed that muscle stress/load is not systematically decreased within the painful area during an isometric single joint task (Tucker et al., submitted). Three issues could explain this. First, the theory may be wrong and the adaptation to pain may not serve to unload irritated tissue. Second, our acute pain model may not induce the same changes in load distribution as clinical pain, and alternative pain models should be used. Third, the isometric single joint tasks may be insufficient to allow changes in motor strategy that unload the painful tissue. This project will address these issues, and in doing so provide direct insight into the goal of the motor adaptation to pain.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug, and Professor Paul Hodges

    Complex changes in motor control during pain have been explored in depth during simple tasks. However, less is known about pain-induced changes for tasks involving coordinated activity of multiple muscles, in which multiple options for different muscle combinations are available to perform the task (i.e. musculo-skeletal redundancy). The successful control of movement is inherently linked to variability in movement performance. For example, cyclic variability in knee angle during walking is thought to distribute loading between joint structures. In this context, providing the outcome is successful variability is thought to be ‘good’. Variability of movement is reduced in people with some clinical pain conditions. In these chronic musculoskeletal conditions it is not known if pain is the factor that reduces variability and/or if the reduced variability over time induces the pain, through repetitive loading on joint structures. To determine if changes in movement variability to short term pain exposure may underpin more long-term adaptations, we must first consider the evolution of this variable over multiple days of pain.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug, Professor Kay Crossley and Professor Paul Hodges

    Anterior knee pain is a chronic condition, that can have a long-term impact on an individuals participation in physical activity. Significant links exist between the duration of anterior knee pain and the development of knee osteoarthritis. Considerable literature explores changes in gait and tissue loading with knee osteoarthritis, when both pain and tissue degeneration is significant. Understanding changes in movement control, including movement variability and synergistic organization of muscle coordination during gait, in the earlier stage of this degenerative process (when pain is present, but tissue changes are not yet observed) is likely to support the development of early management techniques that could ultimately prevent chronicity. Reduced variably (e.g. of knee angular velocity) has been observed in people with anterior knee pain when running. We will determine if changes in movement variability and muscle synergy organisation is altered during movement tasks that are pain provoking and non-pain provoking.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Hug, Francois and Tucker, Kylie (2016). Surface electromyography to study muscle coordination. In Bertram Müller, Sebastian I. Wolf,, Gert-Peter Brueggemann, Zhigang Deng, Andrew McIntosh, Andrew McIntosh, Freeman Miller and William Scott Selbie (Ed.), Handbook of human motion (pp. 1-21) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30808-1_184-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Supervisors: Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug and Professor Paul Hodges

    The effects of pain on movement have been widely studied during acute experimental pain and in people with clinical musculoskeletal pain conditions. Changes in movement control during pain are thought to reduce load on painful tissue to protect from further pain and/or injury. Although logical and generally assumed to be correct, there is surprisingly little evidence to provide definitive support for this theory. For example, using an innovative elastographic technique, we recently showed that muscle stress/load is not systematically decreased within the painful area during an isometric single joint task (Tucker et al., submitted). Three issues could explain this. First, the theory may be wrong and the adaptation to pain may not serve to unload irritated tissue. Second, our acute pain model may not induce the same changes in load distribution as clinical pain, and alternative pain models should be used. Third, the isometric single joint tasks may be insufficient to allow changes in motor strategy that unload the painful tissue. This project will address these issues, and in doing so provide direct insight into the goal of the motor adaptation to pain.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug, and Professor Paul Hodges

    Complex changes in motor control during pain have been explored in depth during simple tasks. However, less is known about pain-induced changes for tasks involving coordinated activity of multiple muscles, in which multiple options for different muscle combinations are available to perform the task (i.e. musculo-skeletal redundancy). The successful control of movement is inherently linked to variability in movement performance. For example, cyclic variability in knee angle during walking is thought to distribute loading between joint structures. In this context, providing the outcome is successful variability is thought to be ‘good’. Variability of movement is reduced in people with some clinical pain conditions. In these chronic musculoskeletal conditions it is not known if pain is the factor that reduces variability and/or if the reduced variability over time induces the pain, through repetitive loading on joint structures. To determine if changes in movement variability to short term pain exposure may underpin more long-term adaptations, we must first consider the evolution of this variable over multiple days of pain.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor François Hug, Professor Kay Crossley and Professor Paul Hodges

    Anterior knee pain is a chronic condition, that can have a long-term impact on an individuals participation in physical activity. Significant links exist between the duration of anterior knee pain and the development of knee osteoarthritis. Considerable literature explores changes in gait and tissue loading with knee osteoarthritis, when both pain and tissue degeneration is significant. Understanding changes in movement control, including movement variability and synergistic organization of muscle coordination during gait, in the earlier stage of this degenerative process (when pain is present, but tissue changes are not yet observed) is likely to support the development of early management techniques that could ultimately prevent chronicity. Reduced variably (e.g. of knee angular velocity) has been observed in people with anterior knee pain when running. We will determine if changes in movement variability and muscle synergy organisation is altered during movement tasks that are pain provoking and non-pain provoking.