Rita Deering

Rita is studying abdominal muscle function, pain perception and functional mobility in women after pregnancy in the laboratory of Dr. Sandra Hunter. As an instructor for an exercise class for pregnant women, Rita was often asked how the strength of the abdominal muscles was impacted by the stretch and separation of the abdominal muscles that is experienced during pregnancy. Her inability to answer this question due to the absence of research being performed in this specific patient population inspired Rita to pursue a PhD in Clinical and Rehabilitation Health Sciences (CTRH). By examining the appearance of the abdominal muscles, their ability to generate and maintain force, and the activity level and pain experiences of the mother, Rita hopes to be able to identify possible risk factors for pain syndromes and impaired abdominal muscle function. She is also comparing laboratory measures of strength and endurance to tests that are currently used by Physical Therapists and Physiatrists in the clinic, and she has modified an existing clinical test in hopes of creating a new endurance task that can be easily integrated into clinical practice.

Rita’s dissertation committee consists of:


About the Marquette Sports Rehabilitation Clinic

The Marquette Sports Rehabilitation Clinic (MSRC) is a full-service outpatient rehabilitation and sports medicine clinic that offers the expertise of licensed Physical Therapists and licensed Athletic Trainers with the convenience of an on-campus location. MSRC is a part of the College of Health Sciences' nationally ranked Department of Physical Therapy. MSRC primarily serves the Marquette community including students, staff, faculty and spouses/dependents of employees. MSRC does additionally welcome patients from the greater Milwaukee community at large.

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