Musculoskeletal (MSK) Therapy

Team Members
2015 Snapshoot
2016 Focus

About us

The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Therapy Research Group has continued to focus on research which targets therapies for the musculoskeletal system and is a way of getting ‘like-minded’ researchers together to hopefully collaborate on primary higher degree research. 



Team members

Dr Sara Jones; Assoc Prof Kerry Thoirs; Dr Maureen McEvoy; Dr Julie Walters; Mark Jones; Ian Fulton, Alison Bell, PhD candidates Helen Banwell; Ryan Causby, Felicity Braithwaite and Olivia Hill; statistician Alvin Atlas; and research assistant Kate Kennedy.



Snapshot of 2015

We secured funding for six students (two undergraduate and 4 postgraduate) to go to India for clinical placements in 2017. The undergraduate students will be attending KDH hospital, Mumbai for an Advanced Physiotherapy Practice placement. We will use this as an opportunity to develop a research collaboration with the physiotherapists in this hospital as they are interested in pursuing research projects in MSK.

Dr. Steve Milanese presented a “Manual therapy for the spine” two day workshop at iNTI University in Malaysia in October. This was attended by a range of participants, from Physiotherapists in Kuala Lumpur, Physiotherapy lecturers from surrounding universities and PhD students, and was well received. Similar workshops are currently being organised for presentation in Hong Kong for 2017.

We recently completed a project with the Australian Institute of Sport where we undertook a scoping review of the use of patient data reporting systems such as clinical databases in the clinical decision making process. Mark Jones, an internationally recognised expert on clinical reasoning in MSK has looked at how to integrate the AIS Athlete management system database into the clinical reasoning process for MSK conditions.

Members of the team also completed a Social Network Analysis project looking at physiotherapists/GPs and Claims Managers and the patient’s perspectives on evidence based practice and the decisions underpinning evidence translation in the management of the compensable patient with MSK conditions. Therapists could be divided in three groups – ‘Patient Advocates’, ‘Balanced Therapists’, and what appeared to be ‘Evidence Extremists’ – who only followed research evidence. No surprises that Patient Advocates and Evidence Extremists appeared related to the worst results.

Felicity Braithwaite presented at the APA Conference Gold Coast in October 2015 a talk on ‘Testing a sham dry needle for the cervical spine in healthy adults: a pilot study and two randomised controlled trials.’ Braithwaite FA, Walters J, McEvoy M.



2016 Focus.

There are a number of exciting projects leading into 2017, with members of the team focussing on a number of MSK related topics, including the use of Sit/Stand desks, the diagnosis of tibialis posterior dysfunction and the use of sEMG during the rehabilitation process.





For further information on the Musculoskeletal Therapy Research Team, contact Dr Steve Milanese:


phone: (08) 8302 1053

Areas of study and research

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