Kara Hannibal was selected to receive a Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) Scholarship given by the Foundation for Physical Therapy for her work titled “The impact of chronic stress-induced cortisol dysfunction on acute musculoskeletal pain and manual therapy outcomes”.
A brief description of the work is as follows: Cortisol is a critical anti-inflammatory hormone and a key player in the neuroendocrine stress response. Chronic stress has been implicated in cortisol dysfunction, inflammation, and pain. I plan to examine subjective and objective measures of chronic stress in healthy volunteers prior to pain onset, during an episode of acute musculoskeletal pain, and following manual therapy intervention. A greater understanding of the impact of chronic stress on the acute pain experience may allow for prevention of the transition to chronic pain.