One particular muscle of interest for this laboratory is the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM), which rotates and supports the head and is commonly associated with many head and neck injuries. Dr. Hynes’ laboratory is interested in how the SCM responds to head injuries, and how this may influence the ability of the anterior vascular system to supply blood flow to the neck and brain. A muscle’s response to injury heavily depends on the manner and severity of the injury; factors like age, previous injury, and overall health can all impact muscle recovery and rehabilitation.
Christina is currently exploring a novel method of applying a cognitive motor integration task (i.e., responding to visual cues) during a running activity to rehabilitate individuals with concussions. Through this methodology, Christina is able to look at how the muscular and nervous systems integrate post-concussion, and hopes to return these individuals to their pre-concussion activity levels.