Project Proposal

Detecting Protective Pain-Related Behaviour in People with Chronic
Musculoskeletal Pain using Xbox Kinect



People with chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) often experience pain-related fear of doing physical activity. These pain-related fear are usually communicated through communicative and protective non-verbal behaviours. Studies have shown these behaviours affect physical, psychological and social well-being of a person. Unfortunately, people with CMP are mostly not aware that they exhibit such behaviour and they do not have control of its trigger. In order to support the rehabilitation of people with CMP, these behaviours first need to be identified.

Problem Statement

Identify and compare how protective pain-related behaviours triggered by people with chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) are different from normal body movement patterns and their effects on physical, psychological and social well-being.


It is proposed that sensing of pain-related body patterns during self-directed exercise sessions or every day activity can help with understanding what movements or situations that people with CMP fear the most and hence avoid consciously or not. These self-directed exercise sessions include walking, repeated stand-to-sit and sit-to-stand exercises. Microsoft Xbox Kinect will be used to capture body movements during these physical activities and information about them can be provided through skeleton avatars (which will be implemented using Kinect APIs). The information then will be compared to other data analysed from normal people without CMP. The result from the comparison can be used to identify and classify protective pain-related behaviours triggered by people with CMP.

Feedback From Supervisor

A backup plan to get the data for chronic back pain is needed just in case.