Dr Constanza Gomez Alvarez

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Research Interests

My main research interest is on equine and canine biomechanics. I have a strong interest in applied kinesiology (study of the mechanics of body movements) combined with animal physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

I am currently studying core strength and sway stability of healthy dogs and with musculoskeletal and neurological diseases, before and after treatment and physio-rehabilitation. Similarly, I am interested in studying the clinical efficacy of therapeutic exercise in horses and dogs. I am investigating the biomechanics of different dog breeds and I aim to understand how breeds standards may affect the kinetic and kinematics of canines and their sport performance. Finally, I am working in collaboration with SLU studying dog lameness to quantify and describe their mechanical adaptations objectively.

Research Collaborations

Dr Marie Rhodin

Dr Pia Gustas

Dr Anna Bergh

Prof. Lars Roepstorff

Dr. Clare Rusbridge

Prof. Gail Anderson

Dr. Aliah Shaheen

Prof. Adrian Hilton

Teaching

BSc (Hons) – Anatomy and Animal Handling/Module Coordinator, Animal Biology,

BVSci - Animal Biomechanics, Locomotion and gait analysis, Musculoskeletal biology

Veterinary Microbiology MSc – Diseases of Animal Systems

Departmental Duties

Musculoskeletal theme coordinator
Head of the Veterinary Biomechanics Laboratory

Affiliations

Member of the Ethics Committee, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey
Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
Member of the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians

Contact me

E-mail: c.gomezalvarez@surrey.ac.uk
Phone: 01483 68 9399


Find me on campus
Vet School Main Building, Academic floor, Daphne Jackson Road, Manor Park.

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 9399

Find me on campus
Room: 01 VSM 02

Publications

Journal articles

  • Rhodin ME, Bergh A, Gustås P, Gomez Alvarez CB. (2017) 'Inertial sensor-based system for lameness detection in trotting dogs with induced lameness'. Elsevier The Veterinary Journal,

    Abstract

    Lameness detection can be challenging in dogs, as reflected in the reported low inter-rater agreement when visually assessing lameness. The aim of this study was to use an inertial sensor-based system to detect and quantify induced distal and proximal limb disturbances mimicking supporting and swinging limb lameness in dogs trotting on a treadmill by measuring vertical head and pelvic movement symmetry. Ten clinically sound dogs were equipped with inertial measurement units that were attached to the head, pelvis and right distal forelimb. Vertical head and pelvic movement symmetry were measured while dogs trotted on a treadmill, before and after the induction of moderate support or swinging fore- and hindlimb lameness. Four symmetry variables were calculated: the differences in displacement between the two lowest and between the two highest values of the head and pelvis per stride, respectively. These variables were defined as minimum head difference (HDmin), maximum head difference (HDmax), minimum pelvic difference (PDmin) and maximum pelvic difference (PDmax).

  • Zindl C, Tucker RL, Jovanovik J, Gomez Alvarez CB, Price D, Fitzpatrick N. (2016) 'Effects of image plane, patient positioning, and foraminal zone on magnetic resonance imaging measurements of canine lumbosacral intervertebral foramina'. Wiley Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound,

    Abstract

    Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis has been suspected to have a dynamic component, especially regarding encroachment of the L7 nerve roots exiting the lumbosacral foramina. Angled cross-sectional imaging of the neuroforamina has been found improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of stenosis in humans. In this anatomic study, foraminal apertures were evaluated by MRI at the entry, middle, and exit zones of the nerve roots in 30 dogs that were clinically affected by lumbosacral disease. Standard vs. oblique planar orientation and neutral vs. hyperextended positioning of the lumbosacral area were compared by measuring the median values for entry, middle, and exit zones. The neuroforaminal area acquired using oblique plane acquisition was significantly smaller than standard parasagittal measurements. Furthermore, standard parasagittal neuroforaminal dimensions in the hyperextended position were significantly smaller than standard parasagittal measurements in the neutral position. This statistical difference was even more pronounced for neuroforaminal dimension evaluated in the oblique plane and hyperextended position. Positioning of the dog during imaging has a significant effect on neuroforaminal dimension, corroborating the notion that spinal position may influence neural claudication in clinically affected patients. Reductions in neuroforaminal dimension are more evident on oblique planar image acquisition, suggesting that this approach may be more useful than parasagittal imaging as a tool for identifying subtle changes in L7 neuroforaminal dimensions in cases of canine lumbosacral stenosis.

  • Rhodin M, Gómez álvarez CB, Byström A, Johnston C, van Weeren PR, Roepstorff L, Weishaupt MA. (2009) 'The effect of different head and neck positions on the caudal back and hindlimb kinematics in the elite dressage horse at trot'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 41 (3), pp. 274-279.
  • Waldern NM, Wiestner T, von Peinen K, Gómez Álvarez CG, Roepstorff L, Johnston C, Meyer H, Weishaupt MA. (2009) 'Influence of different head-neck positions on vertical ground reaction forces, linear and time parameters in the unridden horse walking and trotting on a treadmill'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 41 (3), pp. 268-273.
  • Gómez Álvarez CB, Rhodin M, Byström A, Back W, van Weeren PR. (2009) 'Back kinematics of healthy trotting horses during treadmill versus over ground locomotion'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 41 (3), pp. 297-300.
  • Wennerstrand J, Gómez Álvarez CB, Meulenbelt R, Johnston C, van Weeren PR, Roethlisberger-Holm K, Drevemo S. (2009) 'Spinal kinematics in horses with induced back pain'. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology, 22 (6), pp. 448-454.
  • Gómez Alvarez CB. (2008) '[The back of the horse: a bridge between the extremities, but functionally not enough understood].'. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd, Netherlands: 133 (19), pp. 804-806.
  • Gómez Álvarez CB, Bobbert MF, Lamers L, Johnston C, Back W, Van Weeren PR. (2008) 'The effect of induced hindlimb lameness on thoracolumbar kinematics during treadmill locomotion'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 40 (2), pp. 147-152.
  • Gómez Álvarez CB, L'Ami JJ, Moffatt D, Back W, Van Weeren PR. (2008) 'Effect of chiropractic manipulations on the kinematics of back and limbs in horses with clinically diagnosed back problems'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 40 (2), pp. 153-159.
  • Bobbert MF, Gómez Álvarez CB, Van Weeren PR, Roepstorff L, Weishaupt MA. (2007) 'Validation of vertical ground reaction forces on individual limbs calculated from kinematics of horse locomotion'. Journal of Experimental Biology, 210 (11), pp. 1885-1896.
  • Gómez Álvarez CB, Wennerstrand J, Bobbert MF, Lamers L, Johnston C, Back W, Van Weeren PR. (2007) 'The effect of induced forelimb lameness on thoracolumbar kinematics during treadmill locomotion'. Equine Veterinary Journal, 39 (3), pp. 197-201.
  • Bobbert M, Gomez Alvarez C, van Weeren R, Roepstorff L, Weishaupt M. (2007) 'A new method to calculate peak vertical ground reaction forces on individual limbs from kinematics of trotting horses'. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, 146 (4), pp. S110-S110.
  • Gómez Alvarez CB, Rhodin M, Bobber MF, Meyer H, Weishaupt MA, Johnston C, Van Weeren PR. (2006) 'The effect of head and neck position on the thoracolumbar kinematics in the unridden horse.'. Equine veterinary journal. Supplement, (36), pp. 445-451.
  • Gómez Álvarez CB, Bobbert MF, Lamers L, Wennerstrand J, Johnston C, Van Weeren PR. (2006) 'The effect of induced front limb lameness on back kinematics'. , pp. 181-184.

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