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Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory aims to conduct world leading research in the fields of aviation medicine, space medicine, and terrestrial healthcare/rehabilitation. It has specific interests in the role of injury/disease (e.g., low back pain, osteoarthritis) and musculoskeletal unloading (e.g., through exposure to reduced gravity, long duration bedrest, or through the ageing process), on deconditioning of the musculoskeletal system, and in the development of rehabilitation interventions to counteract this deconditioning.

The Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory hosts the Aerospace Medicine Systematic Review Group, which leads, conducts and advises on the synthesis of literature to inform clinical guidelines and decision making in space medicine and civil & military aviation.

The laboratory has received funding from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency to research and develop new exercise interventions (or countermeasures) for spinal musculoskeletal deconditioning due to exposure to the reduced gravity environments of space, the Moon and Mars. This work has involved researching the Functional Readaptive Exercise Device, as well as taking part in parabolic flights and long duration bedrest studies, sponsored by NASA and ESA, that simulate reduced gravity. The laboratory also contributed to an ESA Topical Team on Post-mission Exercise (Reconditioning) which advised ESA on operational and research priorities relating to astronaut health, fitness and wellbeing.

As well as conducting “out of this world” research, the laboratory has supported a number of Northumbria University students in carrying out prestigious internships at the ESA Space Medicine Office, often working directly with astronauts on their fitness training and assessment, before, during and after missions to the International Space Station.

Read the Research publications from the laboratory


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