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How do we use our whole body to do meaningful activities despite the pain?

Associate members:

Jason Bouffard’s research aims to better understand intersegmental adaptations to pain in order to detect problematic situations and know how to control them. Translational research, from the laboratory to the field, makes it possible to develop preventive and rehabilitative solutions, integrating the best scientific knowledge while being adapted to the context of the users.

Pain affects how we move, from completely avoiding certain activities to more subtle adaptations of our gestures. In many situations, these motor changes are mild, even adaptive, because they protect us from injury. On the other hand, in some other cases, these changes last over time and may prevent us from fully enjoying our significant activities in our daily life, at work or during the rehabilitation of people in need. The research program that I am setting up with my team aims to better understand the causes of these motor changes linked to pain as well as their impacts on people’s lives. More precisely, we are trying to decide, by means of multiple approaches ranging from biomechanics to qualitative research, what part of the motor adaptations to pain we consciously put in place and what part appears despite our will. In addition, by using tools that can be used directly in living, working and rehabilitation environments, we try to detect signs of pain during real movements in order to assess their functional impacts, to implement interventions to control them and assess their effectiveness. In this more applied part of my research, I want to involve as much as possible the potential users of the tools developed to promote their acceptability and possibly their use.

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