Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Kathleen A. Sluka, PT, PhD, FAPTA


Professor of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Contact Information

Primary Office: 1-248 Medical Education Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-9791

Web: Neurobiology of Pain Laboratory


BS, Physical Therapy, Georgia State University
PhD, Anatomy, University of Texas Medical Branch

Licensure and Certifications

Education/Training Program Affiliations

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Translational Biomedicine
Medical Scientist Training Program

Research Summary

Dr. Sluka's laboratory studies the peripheral and central mechanisms of chronic musculoskeletal pain, and non-pharmacological treatment for chronic pain. These studies involve the use of animal models of muscle pain developed and characterized in Dr. Sluka's laboratory, as well as projects in human subjects. We use a variety of techniques to address these questions including cell culture, molecular biology, genetic manipulations, behavioral pharmacology, and standard clinical trial methodology. Our overall goals are to improve the management of pain for people with a variety of musculoskeletal pain conditions by discovering the underlying mechanisms that lead to the development of chronic pain, discovering new therapies for pain management, and improving the use of currently available treatment for pain.

Selected Publications

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Rakel B, Vance C, Zimmerman M, Petsas-Blodgett N, Amendola A, Sluka K.  Mechanical Hyperalgesia and Reduced Quality of Life Occur in People with Mild Knee Osteoarthritis Pain.  Clin J Pain.  2015 April. 31(4):315-22.

da Silva M, Bobinski F, Sato K, Kolker S, Sluka K, Santos A.  IL-10 Cytokine Released from M2 Macrophages Is Crucial for Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Acupuncture in a Model of Inflammatory Muscle Pain.  Mol Neurobiol.  2015 February. 51(1):19-31.

Gereau 4th R, Sluka K, Maixner W, Savage S, Price T, Murinson B, Sullivan M, Fillingim R.  A Pain Research Agenda for the 21st Century.  J Pain.  2014 October 29. 15(12):1203-14.

Sato K, Johanek L, Sanada L, Sluka K.  Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) improves decreased physical activity induced by nerve injury.  Behav Neurosci.  2014 October. 128(5):625-32.

Rakel B, Zimmerman M, Geasland K, Embree J, Clark C, Noiseux N, Callaghan J, Herr K, Walsh D, Sluka K.  Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for the Control of Pain during Rehabilitation after Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA): A Randomized, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial.  Pain.  2014 September 27. 155(12):2599-611.

Noehren B, Dailey D, Rakel B, Vance C, Zimmerman M, Crofford L, Sluka K.  Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Pain, Function, and Quality of Life in Fibromyalgia: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.  Phys Ther.  2014 September 11. 95(1):129-40.

Glass N, Segal N, Sluka K, Torner J, Nevitt M, Felson D, Bradley L, Neogi T, Lewis C, Frey-Law L.  Examining sex differences in knee pain: the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study.  Osteoarthritis Cartliage.  2014 August. 22(8):1100-6.

Dailey D, Keffala V, Sluka K.  Do cognitive and physical fatigue tasks enhance pain, cognitive fatigue and physical fatigue in people with fibromyalgia?.  Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken).  2014 July 29. 67(2):288-96.

Noiseux N, Callaghan J, Clark C, Zimmerman M, Sluka K, Rakel B.  Preoperative predictors of pain following total knee arthroplasty.  J Arthroplasty.  2014 July. 29(7):1383-7.

Gong W, Johanek L, Sluka K.  Spinal cord stimulation reduces mechanical hyperalgesia and restores physical activity levels in animals with noninflammatory muscle pain in a frequency-dependent manner.  Anesth Analg.  2014 July. 119(1):186-95.

Date Last Modified: 06/06/2016 - 13:17:48