Jay Hertel

Hertel, Jay N.

Primary Appointment

Joe Gieck Professor in Sports Medicine & Professor and Chair, Kinesiology, Kinesiology

Contact Information

PO Box 400407
Telephone: 3-8673

Research Disciplines

Annual Research Fair, Kinesiology

Research Interests

Ankle instability, postural control, prevention and rehabilitation of lower extremity musculoskeletal injuries, sports medicine.

Research Description

Dr. Hertel is co-director of the Exercise and Sports Injury Laboratory housed in the kinesiology program. In addition to working with other faculty in kinesiology, he also collaborates extensively with faculty and clinicians in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. His research focuses primarily on lower extremity musculoskeletal injuries in physically active individuals. Specific research interests include:

1. Ankle instability: Sprains to the lateral ligaments of the ankle are the most common injuries suffered during participation in sports and exercise. While these injuries are seemingly innocuous, they often result in prolonged symptoms, diminished function, and reduced levels of physical activity months and years after initial injury. A history of lateral ankle sprains has also been shown to be related to the later development of ankle osteoarthritis. We study the prevention, evaluation, and rehabilitation of ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability from a multifactorial perspective using diverse methods ranging from laboratory-based assessments of biomechanics and motor control (postural control, gait, arthrometry,...) to clinical trials evaluating specific treatment approaches such as balance training, sensorimotor rehabilitation, and manual therapies such as joint mobilizations and manipulations.

2. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries: Female athletes are at least 3 times more likely to injure their ACLs than male athletes.  Several factors have been hypothesized to cause this increased risk including sex differences in lower extremity skeletal alignment, neuromuscular activation patterns, and movement biomechanics. We examine these potential risk factors through laboratory and clinical studies with a goal of developing effective ACL injury prevention programs for athletes.

3. Lower extremity overuse injuries: Many individuals participating in sports and exercise suffer overuse injuries such as medial tibial stress syndrome or patellofemoral pain syndrome. We perform studies to identify potential risk factors for these injuries such as lower extremity malalignment, muscle imbalances, and faulty gait mechanics. Additionally, we also assess the efficacy of conservative treatment interventions such as specific therapeutic exercise programs and foot orthotics for individuals with these injuries in both laboratory and clinical studies.

Selected Publications