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Integrative Musculoskeletal Research Lab

Dr. Scribbans’ innovative research program aims to delineate how the nervous, musculoskeletal and fascial (neuromyofascial) systems interact to produce and influence movement and force production of the upper limb in healthy individuals and those with shoulder disorders. Importantly, knowledge regarding the function of and interaction between these systems will elucidate modifiable biomechanical risk factors and targets for preventative and rehabilitative strategies to reduce the incidence and duration of shoulder disorders. Dr. Scribbans’ program is unique, using an integrative approach to examine multiple systems at a variety of biological levels (molecular, cellular, tissue and organs to clinical studies) that is driven by her diverse research experience, education and clinical expertise.

Areas of focus

Upper limb kinematics, scapular position and movement (e.g. scapular dyskinesis), motor variability (global muscle level and individual motor units), high-density surface electromyography (HD-sEMG), sex-differences in task performance and motor variability, anatomical factors contributing to differing task performance (e.g. fibre-type distribution, capillary density), low back pain, validation of clinical measures, neuromuscular adaptations to acute and chronic contractile activity.

Integrative Musculoskeletal Research Lab

Overview of current research projects

  • Characterizing the role of the differing portions of the trapezius muscle during scapular elevation, retraction and depression at differing contraction intensities and repetitions;
     
  • Determining the distribution of muscle activation within the upper, middle and lower trapezius in individuals with and without scapular dyskinesis when the scapula is stationary and in motion and its relationship to scapular kinematics,
  • Determining the validity of the scapular dyskinesis test to measure differences in scapular kinematics;
     
  • Determining whole-muscle and individual motor unit strategies present within the sexes in response to fatiguing isometric contractions;
     
  • Characterize differences in fatigability within several upper limb muscles (trapezius, biceps, pectorals major, etc.) in response to different contraction intensities, intermittent and continuous contractions and different work-rest ratios;
     
  • Determine the temporal response of neuromuscular variables (whole-muscle and individual motor unit variability) following the cessation of an acute fatiguing task;
     
  • Examining the neuromuscular and kinematic response of the lumbar spine and paraspinal muscles in response to a prolonged standing task.

Primary Investigator

  • Trisha Scribbans
  • Trisha Scribbans, PhD

    Dr. Trisha Scribbans' research focuses on understanding the neuromuscular mechanisms that control of force production and movement of the upper extremity, with a particular emphasis on the role of scapular position and movement in shoulder and scapulothoracic mechanics/pathomechanics. She is also interested in identifying novel treatment/prevention strategies to reduce the incidence and duration chronic shoulder pathologies, individual responses to rehabilitative exercise strategies, and the development of anatomical and educational models for the improvement of manual skill acquisition in novice health care providers.

Graduate students

Three Minute Thesis - Third Place Finish

Sarah Bohunicky earned third place in the 2020 University of Manitoba Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition for her presentation, Shoulder pain: Can we reduce the risk of it in only 4-minutes?

Sarah Bohunicky

Sarah is a graduate of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba (2016) and Certified Athletic Therapist. After a couple years in practice as an Athletic Therapist, she returned to graduate studies to generate research that informs best practice of musculoskeletal assessment and rehabilitation of common injuries and disorders. Sarah’s current research investigates a 4-minute myofascial release to the pectoral fascia in those with forward shoulder posture, and the effects it has on forward shoulder posture, muscle length, muscle activity, and movement performance. She is the recipient of the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba’s Research Award, and competed in the 2020 3-Minute Thesis competition where she placed 3rd.

Amanda Slagerman

Amanda Slagerman graduated with her Bachelors in Kinesiology from the University of Manitoba in 2019 and is currently completing a Master of Science in Kinesiology. Amanda has always had an interest in the causes of low back pain and low back injuries in sport and the workplace. She is a current recipient of the Research Manitoba NSERC Scholarship and her thesis investigates alterations in trunk muscle activity and biomechanics associated with sudden, unexpected changes in load during lifting. 

Josee Rochon

Josée graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Manitoba and is now in the process of completing her Master of Science degree in Kinesiology as a first-year graduate student. Josée has always loved working with the elderly population; her research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the increased incidence of shoulder pain in older females. Throughout her master’s degree, she hopes to discover whether scapular muscle activation patterns differ with aging and between the sexes to potentially aid in the development of more specialized and targeted rehabilitation strategies to treat shoulder pain in old age. 

Zachariah Henderson

Zachariah Henderson is completing his PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Trisha Scribbans and Dr. Cheryl Glazebrook. He obtained his Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and Master of Science from Lakehead University, where he studied the effects of ankle bracing on physical performance and lower extremity biomechanics. Zach is currently characterizing various physiological responses to eccentric quasi-isometric contractions across intensities and between sexes.

Kara Harrison

Kara Harrison is completing her PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She received her Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and Master of Science from Lakehead University, where she studied the biomechanical effects of rotator cuff taping on muscle activity and throwing velocity in fatigued baseball players. In her PhD studies, she will be studying the neuromuscular response and adaptations present in whole muscles during acute bouts of fatiguing arm elevations.

Brad Bergen

Brad is completing a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology under the supervision of Dr. Trisha Scribbans. Brad graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2014 with a Bachelor of Kinesiology specializing in Athletic Therapy and has worked as a Certified Athletic Therapist at Victory Therapy for the past seven years. He continues to work in the clinic during his master's degree and has focused his research on exploring muscular characteristics in those with abnormal shoulder blade movement.  

Mark Dacanay

Mark is working towards his Master of Science degree in Kinesiology. In 2017 he graduated from the University of Manitoba receiving a Bachelor of Kinesiology specializing in Athletic Therapy degree, and in 2018 he received his diploma from the Evolve College of Massage Therapy. He has been working as a Certified Athletic Therapist and Registered Massage Therapist for 3 years and continues his practice at Athlitis Therapeutic Centre. His research interests include performance benefits in relation to therapeutic modalities and is currently working on a study examining how muscle activity and force production is affected by cupping therapy.

Undergraduate students

Lab alumni

Collaborators

Publications and presentations

Papers

Bohunicky S., Henderson Z. J., Dacanay, M., Simon N., Scribbans T. D. (2021). Acute Effect of Inhibitory Kinesio-tape of the Upper Trapezius on Lower Trapezius Muscle Excitation in Healthy Shoulders. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies; YJBMT_2168 (in-press). 

Henderson, Z. J., Bohunicky, S., Rochon, J., Dacany, M., & Scribbans, T. D. (2021) Muscle activation in specific regions of the trapezius during modified Kendall manual muscle tests. Journal of Athletic Training (in press). https://doi.org/10.4085/545-20

Henderson, Z. J., & Scribbans, T. D.(2020). Intrauterine contraception and athletic performance: Where is the data? Health and Fitness Journal of Canada, 13(2), 37-45. https://doi.org/10.14288/hfjc.v13i2.308

Gurd, B.J., Patel, J., Edgett, B.A., Scribbans, T.D., Quadrilatero, J. and Fischer, S.L., 2018. The efficacy of a whole body sprint-interval training intervention in an office setting: A feasibility study. Work 60 (2), 295-301.

Scribbans TD, Edgett BA, Bonafiglia JT, Boonstra K, Quadrilatero J, and Gurd BJ. (2017).  A systematic upregulation of nuclear and mitochondrial genes is not present in the initial post-exercise recovery period in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 999: 1-8.

Carson IN, Batson MJ, Tranmer JE, Scribbans TD, Gurd BJ and Pyke KE. (2017). Cardiovascular and cortisol reactivity to acute mental stress in female shift and non-shift workers: a pilot study. SAGE Open Nursing 3, 2377960817709181.

Bonafiglia JT, Edgett BA, Scribbans TD, Little JP, and Gurd BJ. (2017). Examining the Impact of Different Exercise Protocols on PGC-1α and FNDC5 mRNA Expression in Human Skeletal Muscle. The FASEB Journal 31 (1 Supplement), lb736-lb736

Scribbans TD, Vecsey S, Hankinson PB, Foster WS, and Gurd BJ. (2016). The effect of training intensity on VO2max in young healthy adults: A meta-regression and meta-analysis. International Journal of Exercise Science 9(2):230-247.



Edgett BA, Scribbans TD, Raleigh JP, Matusiak JB, Boonstra K, Simpson CA, Perry CG, Quadrilatero J, Gurd BJ. (2016). The impact of a 48-hour fast on SIRT1 and GCN5 in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. May 5(ja).



Raleigh JP, Giles MD, Scribbans TD, Edgett BA, Sawula LJ, Bonafiglia JT, Graham RB, Gurd BJ. The impact of work-matched interval training on VO2peak and VO2 kinetics: diminishing returns with increasing intensity. (2016) Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Feb 29(ja).



Gurd BJ, Giles MD, Bonafiglia JT, Raleigh JP, Boyd JC, Ma JK, Zelt JG, Scribbans TD. (2015) Incidence of nonresponse and individual patterns of response following sprint interval training. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Nov 3;41(3):229-34.



Walsh JJ, Scribbans TD, Bentley RF, Kellawan JM, Gurd B, Tschakovsky ME. (2015) Neurotrophic growth factor responses to lower body resistance training in older adults. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Nov 18;41(3):315-23.



Joanisse S, McKay BR, Nederveen JP, Scribbans TD, Gurd BJ, Gillen JB, et al. (2015) Satellite cell activity, without expansion, following non-hypertrophic stimuli in humans. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol: ajpregu-00249.



Scribbans TD, Ma JK, Edgett BA, Vorobej KA, Mitchell AS, Zelt JG, et al. (2014). Resveratrol supplementation does not augment performance adaptations or fibre-type specific responses to high-intensity interval training in humans. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 39(11), 1305-1313.



Scribbans TD, Edgett BA, Vorobej K, Mitchell AS, Joanisse SD, Matusiak JBL, et al. (2014). Fibre-Specific Responses to Endurance and Low Volume High Intensity Interval Training: Striking Similarities in Acute and Chronic Adaptation. PLoS ONE 5;9(6):e98119. 



Scribbans TD, Berg K, Narazaki K, Janssen I, Gurd BJ. (2014). Heart rate during basketball game play and volleyball drills accurately predicts oxygen uptake and energy expenditure. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 55, 905-913.

Williams CB, Hughes MC, Edgett BA, Scribbans TD, Simpson CA, Perry CGR, et al. (2014). An Examination of Resveratrol's Mechanisms of Action in Human Tissue: Impact of a Single Dose In Vivo and Dose Responses in Skeletal Muscle Ex Vivo. Moro C, editor. PLoS ONE 9(7):e102406.



Ma* JK, Scribbans* TD, Edgett BA, Colin Boyd J, Simpson CA, Little JP, et al. (2013). Extremely low-volume, high-intensity interval training improves exercise capacity and increases mitochondrial protein content in human skeletal muscle. OJMIP 03(04):202–10. *Authors contributed equally to this manuscript. 



McRae G, Payne A, Zelt JGE, Scribbans TD, Jung ME, Little JP, et al. (2012). Extremely low volume, whole-body aerobic-resistance training improves aerobic fitness and muscular endurance in females. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 37 (6), 1124-1131.

Refereed Abstracts/Presentations (*published)

Bergen, B.P., Rochon, J.A., Bohunicky, S., Lesany, A., Scribbans, T.D. (2020) Towards Restoring Scapular Position and Motion Through Mapping Muscle Activation in the Trapezius: a Pilot Study. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care, 12(3):136-144.*

Fulawka, K., Schleper, A., Scribbans, T.D., Anzalone, R., Villar, R. (2020) Sex Differences in Anaerobic Performance of Ice Hockey Players With Dynamic Stretching Warm-up. (poster presentation) Presented at Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 53rd Annual General Meeting: Strengthening our Performance, Keeping our Connections, Virtual Conference. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 45 (Suppl. 3), S299.*

Bohunicky S., Henderson Z. J., Simon N., Scribbans T. D. (2020) Effect of inhibitory kinesio-tape to the upper trapezius on lower trapezius muscle activation: A pilot study. (poster presentation). Presented at Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 53rd Annual General Meeting: Strengthening our Performance, Keeping our Connections, Virtual Conference. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 45, No.11(Suppl. 3), S289.*

Slagerman, A. M., Henderson, Z. J., Dacanay, M. & Scribbans, T. D. (2020). Does manual muscle testing of the middle and lower trapezius preferentially recruit these segments? (poster presentation). Presented at the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Virtual Congress.

Bergen, B.P., Rochon, J.A., Bohunicky, S., Lesany, A., Scribbans, T.D. (2020) Towards Restoring Scapular Position and Motion Through Mapping Muscle Activation in the Trapezius: a Pilot Study (poster presentation). Presented at the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Virtual Congress.

Bohunicky S., Dacanay M., Slagerman A., Scribbans T. D. (2020) Myofascial Release of the Pectoral Fascia: Effect on Shoulder Posture, Pectoral Length, Muscle Activity, and Movement Performance: A Pilot Study (poster presentation). Presented at the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Virtual Congress.

Bohunicky S., Henderson Z. J., Simon N., Scribbans T. D. (2020) Effect of inhibitory kinesio-tape to the upper trapezius on lower trapezius muscle activation: A pilot study. (poster presentation). Presented at the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Virtual Congress.

Dacanay, M., Bohunicky, S., Scribbans, T. D. (2020) Does Forward Shoulder Posture Impact The Ratio Of Activation Of Scapular Retractors To Protractors: A Pilot Study. (poster presentation). Presented at the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Virtual Congress.

Henderson Z. J., Sovinska, O., Bohunicky, S., Scribbans, T.D. (2019).Characterizing the Spatial Distribution of Muscle Activity of the Upper, Lower, and Middle Trapezius During Three Isometric Movements and Two Different Contraction Intensities: Preliminary Results Using a Mixed Design (poster presentation). Presented at the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology 52nd Annual General Meeting, Kelowna, BC. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 44 (Suppl. 2), S55-S120.*

Henderson, Z. J., Sovinska, O., Rochon, J. A., Rossi, S., Scribbans, T. D. (2019). Submaximal and Maximal Scapular Retraction Activates Similar Regions of the Middle Trapezius: a Pilot Study (oral and poster presentation).  Presented at the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association National Conference, Calgary, Canada. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care, 11(3):147-152. https://doi.org/10.3928/19425864-20190403-01*

Non-Refereed Abstracts/Presentations

Bohunicky, S., Scribbans, T. D. (2020) Myofascial Release of the Pectoral Fascia: Effect on Shoulder Posture, Pectoral Length, Muscle Activity, and Movement Performance (invited podium presentation). Massage Therapists Association of Manitoba Online Research Symposium, Winnipeg, MB.  

Henderson, Z. J., & Scribbans, T. D. (2020). Does Intrauterine Contraception Affect Athletic Performance? A Review of the Evidence (or Lack There-of) (poster presentation). Presented at the 2020 Collaborating for Health and Wellness Conference, Virtual Conference.

Bohunicky S., Dacanay M., Slagerman A., Scribbans T.D. (2020) Myofascial release of the pectoral fascia: Effect on shoulder posture and muscle activity (poster presentation). Presented at the 2020 Collaborating for Health and Wellness Conference, Virtual Conference.

Bohunicky, S., Scribbans, T.D. (2019). Myofascial Release of the Pectoral Fascia: Effects on Posture, Upper Limb Reaching Strategies, and Performance (invited podium presentation). Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba Research Symposium, Winnipeg, MB. 

Fulawka, K., Villar, R., Scribbans, T. (2019). The impact of Dynamic Warm-ups on Wingate Performance of Ice Hockey Players (poster presentation). Presented at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management Research Day, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. 

Simon, N.K.R., Bohunicky, S., Dacanay, M, Garcia Castro, S, Henderson, Z.J., Scribbans, T.D.. (2019). Acute effects of inhibitory kinesiology tape on muscle activation in the trapezius: A pilot study (poster presentation). Presented at the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

Rochon, J. A., Henderson, Z. J., Sovinska, O., Scribbans, T. D. (2018). Increasing Contraction Intensity Alters Trapezius Muscle Activation Distribution (poster presentation). Presented at the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, Winnipeg, Canada. 

Sovinska, O., Henderson, Z. J., Rochon, J. A., Scribbans, T. D. (2018). The Impact of Repeated Contractions on the Spatial Distribution of Activation in the Trapezius: A Pilot Study (poster presentation). Presented at the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, Winnipeg, Canada.

Memon H., Rossi S., Scribbans T. (2018) Is bipolar EMG measuring whole muscle activation? Spoiler alert: Yes, it is! (poster and oral presentation). Presented at the Health, Leisure and Human Performance Research Institute Research Day, Winnipeg, Canada. Winner, UG Poster Category.

Rossi S., Scribbans T. (2017) Comparing Muscle Activation of the Middle Trapezius Muscle Using Bipolar and High Density Surface Electromyography: A Pilot Study. (poster presentation). Presented at the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Research Poster Competition, Winnipeg, Canada.

Funding sources