Dr Valerie Sparkes
My main research interests are in spinal pain and dysfunction. This focuses on the effect of spinal pain on muscle activity with particular reference to the spinal and abdominal muscles. The main focus of work is the neuromuscular control of movement including repositioning error, and muscle activity and the effects on neuromuscular training on these factors.
Methods of measurement used are surface electromyography (EMG), VICON camera system and real time ultrasound.
Other work focuses on the effects of back pain on gait parameters including spinal motion.
Future research is based on classification systems in back and shoulder pain and their relationship to physical parameters including inflammatory biomarkers.
I collaborate with members of The Connective Tissue Biology Research group based in the Department of BioSciences, Cardiff University.
I am a member of and sit on the Research Committee of the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) which encourages multidisciplinary finding applications and work.
I am a member of and sit on the Executive Committee of The Society of Back Pain Research.