Press Release for Friday, July 2, 2010

UNF Professor Receives Grant to Conduct Knee Pain Research

Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102

Dr. Michelle Boling, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences at the University of North Florida, has been awarded a grant for more than $145,000 from the National Institute of Health.


The Jacksonville Beach resident will use the grant to determine the mechanical (structural and biomechanical) and non-mechanical (demographic and psychosocial) risk factors that are associated with patellofemoral pain (PFP) syndrome, one of the most common causes of knee pain, and to identify whether risk factors for PFP are gender specific.


She is collaborating with researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, College of Charleston, Uniformed Services University and the United States Military Academy.


“I am very excited to further explore risk factors for this chronic knee condition,” said Boling. “We hope that the findings from this investigation may be used to develop injury prevention programs to decrease the risk of developing PFP.”


PFP affects approximately 25 percent of the physically-active population, with females being 2 to 3 times more likely to develop PFP compared to males. Despite the fact that the prevalence and incidence of PFP is higher among females, there has been no research attempting to understand how risk factors may differ by gender.


The debilitating symptoms associated with PFP have been reported to persist over several decades. The syndrome not only contributes to long-term, joint-related complications (e.g. patellofemoral osteoarthritis), but also may lead to a reduction in physical activity and a subsequent increase in inactivity-related outcomes like obesity and chronic disease as well as significant health care costs.


Boling has been a faculty member at UNF since 2008 and has received numerous honors and awards, including a Transformational Learning Opportunity Grant from UNF, a University of North Carolina Future Faculty Fellowship and an Outstanding Alumni award by the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences.


She is a member of the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program, the Southeast Athletic Trainer’s Association, Athletic Trainer’s Association of Florida and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.


Boling earned her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her master’s degree from the University of Kentucky.