Pollen Research


Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science
Organization: Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences

4201 Henry Avenue, Suite 225G
Ronson Health & Applied Science Center
Philadelphia, PA 19144

Contact Number(s):

The Prevention and Rehabilitation of Injury in Sport and Exercise (PRISE) Lab is directed by Travis Pollen, PhD. The goal of this lab is to better understand athletic injury etiology, risk reduction, and rehabilitation. Specific interests include the roles that pre-participation screening, return-to-sport testing, and training load play in injury. Through this work, Dr. Pollen seeks to bridge the gap between research and practice as well as between rehabilitation and performance.

Research Projects

Swimming Injury Risk Reduction

Competitive swimmers are well known for experiencing a high incidence of overuse injuries, especially to the shoulder. To combat these injuries, an effective, efficient, sport-specific, adaptable, and sustainable injury prevention program is needed. The purpose of this research is to (1) systematically review the literature on injury prevention programs for swimmers; (2) conduct qualitative studies with swimmers, coaches, and sports medicine practitioners to understand their attitudes and perspectives on injury and injury prevention; and (3) co-create an injury prevention program for swimmers in consultation with key stakeholders. The goal is an injury prevention program that swimmers will be eager to adopt, implement, and maintain over time.

YouTube Yoga for Low Back Pain

Yoga is a popular exercise intervention for low back pain, and many patients seek out online yoga as a convenient, at-home strategy for pain management. However, the quality of online yoga for low back pain has not been assessed. It is unknown whether these online classes follow best practices for treating low back pain. Of particular interest are potential “nocebo effects,” or communications that can instill negative expectations and lead to negative health outcomes. The purpose of this research is to determine the prevalence of nocebic language in popular yoga for low back pain YouTube videos. Through the lens of the Fear Avoidance Model, we are exploring the potential that harmful narratives advanced by online yoga teachers could paradoxically perpetuate pain. Focal points include reductionist explanations of the causes of low back pain and the specific effects of yoga on those factors.