Paula Ludewig

Director of the Division of Physical Therapy


Professional Associations

  • American Physical Therapy Association 
    • Orthopaedics
    • Research Sections 
  • American Society of Biomechanics
  • International Society of Biomechanics International Shoulder Group

Research Summary

Dr. Ludewig's objective is to investigate biomechanical factors contributing to musculoskeletal dysfunction, in order to refine current clinical diagnosis and treatment approaches and develop novel scientifically founded rehabilitation interventions. The current research plan includes development and testing the effectiveness of biomechanically based rehabilitation strategies for improving shoulder function and reducing pain and disability in persons with pathologies related to abnormal movement patterns. Currently, in-vivo 3D motion and muscle activity data is collected from healthy and symptomatic subjects and integrated with state of the art shoulder models derived from imaging data. Dr. Ludewig's past and ongoing work is identifying mechanics of the full shoulder complex, identifying kinematic mechanisms of shoulder and foot dysfunction, quantifying effects of motion deviations on mechanical impingement risk to the rotator cuff tendons, and assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions including exercise programs. 

Research Funding Grants

Current Funded Research:

Improving Shoulder Health through an Ergonomic Wheelchair
Maslowski Charitable Trust


Selected Publications:

  • Ludewig PM, Cook TM: Alterations in shoulder kinematics and associated muscle activity in people with symptoms of shoulder impingement. Phys Ther; 80(3):276-291; 2000.
  • Ludewig PM, Cook TM: Translations of the humerus in persons with shoulder impingement symptoms. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther; 32:248-259; 2002.
  • Ludewig PM, Borstad JD: Effects of a home exercise program on shoulder pain and functional status in construction workers. Occ Environ Med; 60:841-849; 2003.
  • Ludewig PM, Hoff MS, Osowski EA, Meschke SA, Rundquist PJ: Relative balance of serratus anterior and upper trapezius muscle activity during push-up exercises. Am J Sports Med; 32:484-493; 2004.
  • Ludewig PM, Behrens SA, Meyer SM, Spoden SM, Wilson LA: Three-dimensional clavicular motion during arm elevation: reliability and descriptive data. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther; 34:140-149; 2004.
  • Rundquist PJ, Ludewig PM: Patterns of motion loss in subjects with idiopathic loss of shoulder range of motion. Clin Biomech; 19:810-818; 2004.
  • Borstad JD, Ludewig PM: The effect of long versus short pectoralis minor resting length on scapular kinematics in healthy individuals. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther; 35:227-238; 2005.
  • Borich MR, Bright JM, Lorello DJ, Cieminski CJ, Buisman T, Ludewig PM: Scapular angular positioning at end range internal rotation in cases of glehohumeral internal rotation deficit. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther; 36(12):926-934; 2006.
  • Ogston JB, Ludewig PM. Differences in three-dimensional shoulder kinematics between persons with multidirectional instability and asymptomatic controls. Am J Sports Med; 35:1361-70; 2007.
  • Meyer KE, Saether EE, Soiney EK, Shebeck MS, Paddock KL, Ludewig PM. Three-dimensional scapular kinematics during the throwing motion. J Applied Biomech24(1):24-34; 2008.
  • Teece RM, Lunden JB, Lloyd AS, Kaiser AP, Cieminski CJ, Ludewig PM. Three-dimensional acromioclavicular joint motions during elevation of the arm. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 38(4):181-190; 2008.
  • Ludewig PM, Phadke VP, Braman JP, Hassett DJ, Cieminski CJ, LaPrade RF. Motion of the shoulder complex motion during multiplanar humeral elevation. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 91:378-389; 2009.
  • Borstad JD, Buetow B, Deppe E, Kyllonen J, Liekhus M, Cieminski CJ, Ludewig PM. A longitudinal analysis of the effects of a preventive exercise programme on the factors that predict shoulder pain in construction apprentices. Ergonomics. 52(2):232-244; 2009.
  • Braman JP, Engel SC, LaPrade RF, Ludewig PM. In-vivo assessment of scapulohumeral rhythm during unconstrained overhead reaching in asymptomatic subjects. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 18(6):960-967; 2009.
  • Ludewig PM, Reynolds JF. The association of scapular kiematics and glenohumeral joint pathologies. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther; 39(2):90-104; 2009. 
  • Phadke V, Camargo PR, Ludewig PM. Scapular and rotator cuff function during arm elevation: A review of normal function and alterations with shoulder impingement. Rev Bras Fisioter; São Carlos; 13(1):1-9; 2009.
  • Lunden JB, Braman JP, LaPrade RF, Ludewig PM. Shoulder kinematics during the wall push-up plus exercise. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 19(2):216-223; 2010.
  • Ludewig PM, Hassett DR, LaPrade RF, Camargo PR, Braman JP. Comparison of scapular local coordinate systems. Clin Biomech. 25(5):415-421; 2010.
  • Braman JP, Thomas BM, LaPrade RF, Phadke V, Ludewig PM. Three-dimensional in vivo kinematics of an osteoarthritic shoulder before and after total shoulder arthroplasty. Knee Surg Sports Trauma Arthro. 18(12):1774-8; 2010.
  • Ludewig PM, Braman JP. Shoulder impingement: Biomechanical considerations in rehabilitation. Manual Ther 16(1):33-9; 2011.
  • Nawoczenski DA, Riek LM, Greco L, Staiti K, Luldewig PM. Effect of shoulder pain on shoulder kinematics during weight bearing tasks in persons with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 93(8):1421-30; 2012.

Teaching Summary

  • Clinical Biomechanics
  • Advanced Biomechanics
  • Research



Physical Therapy
426 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455