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Rehabilitation Assistant Clarence Tuning works with a wounded soldier to rebuild his muscles.

Discovery Center for Musculoskeletal Recovery


More than 126 million Americans—one in two adults—struggle with bone, joint, or muscle conditions. In fact, nearly one in five health care visits relate to musculoskeletal conditions, including 66 million annual visits for bone and joint issues, 52 million for lower back pain, and 14 million for childhood injuries. These afflictions, which seldom make headline news, compromise the anatomical structure that enables us to move through the world, often halting the most ordinary tasks and pleasures. Yet, diminished activity compounds musculoskeletal problems, leading to muscle atrophy, inability to sleep, and depression. For individuals living with preexisting disabilities, exercise is even more critical for well-being. Despite the cumulative impact of these day-to-day impediments, conventional medical responses are often limited to managing persistent symptoms.

Here at Spaulding, a proactive approach to musculoskeletal rehabilitation merges with cutting edge, research-based therapies and opportunities for active sports and exercise. Under the guidance of Dr. Ross Zafonte, Spaulding is already accelerating musculoskeletal recovery. Spaulding’s National Running Center is one of the only centers in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of running-related injuries. Spaulding’s trailblazing Kelley Institute for Adaptive Sports Research is a national model dedicated to the beneficial impact of adaptive sports on people living with disabilities.

  • 126 million
    More than 126 million Americans struggle with bone, joint, or muscle conditions
  • 1 in 5
    Health care visits relate to musculoskeletal conditions

Principal Investigators and Labs

Photo of Dr. Cheri Blauwet
”In sports medicine, our goal is to support people in becoming active, and staying active. I love empowering people with disabilities to understand what is holding them back from fulfilling their potential – and then witnessing the ways that sports and exercise can propel them into a new life.”
Dr. Cheri Blauwet, Director, Kelley Adaptive Sports

Give the Gift of Research

When you do, you give hope to others by helping our researchers empower patients to live their best lives.