The Sci-Files – 08/09/2020 – Garrett Weidig – The Biomechanics of Hand Impairments

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Garrett Weidig

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Garrett Weidig.
As a lab researching biomechanics, it is the goal of Dr. Bush’s lab to study how the body functions. They extend their research to create models and devices that can assist people in everyday life. In the past, they have worked closely with many interdisciplinary professions, ranging from Michigan State University Athletics to rehabilitation facilities to clinicians. Garrett Weidig is starting his second year in his Ph.D. program in Mechanical Engineering focusing on hand function. Previously the lab accumulated data on forcing ability and range of motion of the fingers and thumb. Garrett is taking this research further to optimize solutions used for helping those with hand impairments. Whether it be from injury or hand osteoarthritis (which 1 in 2 people over the age of 65 will develop), there is a high chance you will need surgery and/or rehabilitation. The success of a surgery is largely determined by the amount of pain relief found after the surgery, usually neglecting the change in function. On top of that, physical therapists experience a high rate of burnout due to the high work load. Part of Garrett’s research is to identify what limitations may be overlooked in the name of just relieving pain, with the main question being: what is lost? Forcing ability? Range of motion?
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