This research team investigates the physiological and psychosocial features associated with neck pain in the general population, the working population, those experiencing persistent headaches, or suffered head or neck trauma. Findings assist in the development of innovative approaches to the diagnosis and management of features associated with persistent neck problems. 

Key research activities

Our research looks at the inter-relationships between pain, motor and kinematic function, cervical somatosensory function and psychosocial  responses in traumatic and idiopathic models of neck pain including:

  • whiplash associated disorders
  • insidious onset neck pain
  • cervical and axioscapular muscle function
  • cervicogenic headache
  • cervicogenic dizziness
  • concussion
  • safety in manual therapy, vertebral artery insufficiency and dissection
  • translational education research
  • work-related/occupational neck conditions - prevention and management
  • neck pain in the elderly, neck pain in head and neck cancer
  • development of physiotherapy interventions for cervical spine (neck) disorders.

Group members

Team founder

Emeritus Professor Gwendolen Jull

Team members

Dr Julia Treleaven
Dr Venerina Johnston
Dr Shaun O’Leary
Dr Lucy Thomas

Research Higher Degree Candidates:

Candidate

Degree

Supervisor/s

Project Title/Description

Michelle Cottrell

PhD

Professor Trevor Russell, Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Dr Annie Hill

Evaluation of a telerehabilitation model of care for the multidisciplinary management of patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions within N/OPSC & MDS.

Khalid Jaber

MPhil

Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Dr Michael MacAuliffe, Professor Michelle Sterling

Psychological, social and sensory predictors of a poor response to total knee replacement.

Alan Wan

PhD

Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Professor Michael Sullivan, Professor Michelle Sterling

An investigation of Sensitivity to Movement-Evoked Pain in Whiplash Injury.

Olivia Galea

PhD

Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Dr Julia Treleaven

Do impairments exist beyond expected recovery time following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and what is their relationship with self-reported symptoms.

Zhiqi Liang

PhD

Dr Julia Treleaven

Dr Lucy Thomas

E/Prof Gwen Jull

The Nature of Neck Pain in Migraine.

 

Yanfie Xie

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston

Dr Brooke Coombes

Dr Lucy Thomas

Characterization of muscle, sensory and psychosocial features of idiopathic neck pain among sonographer.

 

Ameer Alhusuny

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston

Dr Margaret Cook

Neck/Shoulder and Vision Problems in Surgical Team Performing Minimally Invasive Surgeries.

Michael Donovan

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston

A/Prof Asad Khan

Addressing work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the Queensland poultry meat processing industry.

Alyssa Welch

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston

A/Prof Genevieve Healy

Understanding the individual and organisational factors associated with adherence to a workplace-based exercise program for office workers.

Recently completed Research Higher Degree Candidates:

Candidate

Degree

Supervisor/s

Project Title/Description

Deokhoon Hun

PhD

Dr Shaun O’Leary, A/Prof Venerina Johnston

A longitudinal study of risk factors for non-specific neck pain in office workers.

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:690540

Xiaoqi Chen

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston, Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Prevention and reduction of neck pain in office workers: characteristics, contributing factors, and impact of a workplace-based exercise and ergonomic intervention

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:690623

Michelle Pereira

PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston, A/Prof Tracy Comans

Workplace intervention for productivity enhancement of office workers

Yaheli Bet-or

MPhil / PhD

A/Prof Venerina Johnston, Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Characteristics of scapula-thoracic kinematics in a healthy population and those with chronic non-specific neck pain.

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:689503

June Quek

PhD

Dr Julia Treleaven

Professor Sandy Brauer

Dr Ross Clark

The Influence of Cervical Spine Dysfunction on Postural Control.

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:721150

 

Peter Window

PhD

Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Dr Kylie Tucker, Professor Paul Hodges

Can Kinematic based measures of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex detect differences in motor function in individuals with chronic low back pain and healthy controls?

Elise Gane

PhD

Dr Shaun O’Leary,

Dr Steven McPhail, Dr Anna Hatton

Identifying risk factors for poor functional recovery of the neck and shoulder (neck/shoulder) after neck dissection surgery in patients with head and neck cancer.

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:722261

Research Projects:

Project Title

Funding

Investigators

Contact

A workplace-based exercise intervention to prevent and reduce the economic and personal burden of non-specific neck pain in the office personnel

NHMRC project grant

Johnston V, Straker L, Comans T,  Sjogaard G, O’Leary S, Melloh M.

A/Prof Venerina Johnston v.johnston@uq.edu.au

Completed 2017

Mediating the negative impact of standing for the office worker transitioning to a sit-stand workstation

UQ HABS Faculty Research Collaboration Seeding Grant

Johnston V, Gilson N, Smith M, Brown W, Vicenzino B.

Completed 2017

A longitudinal study of risk factors for neck pain in office workers

Office Ergonomic Research Committee Jun H, Johnston V, O’Leary S. Completed 2017
Is there a difference in scapular kinematics between healthy controls and people with chronic neck pain?

Physiotherapy Research Foundation seeding grant

Bet-or Y, Johnston V, O’Leary S. Completed 2017
Remote kinematic e-training/healthcare for patients with chronic neck pain, a randomised clinical trial Health and Medical Research Queensland Health 2014 HMR Treleaven J, Sarig-Bahat H.

j.treleaven@uq.edu.au

Completed 2017
Factors associated with laterality/ implicit motor imagery performance in chronic neck pain and whiplash  

Treleaven J,

Reebeck T, Stanton T.
j.treleaven@uq.edu.au
An investigation of the mechanical properties of the cervical arteries using ultrasound and magnetic resonance elastography SHRS New staff Research Set-Up Fund Thomas, L l.thomas2@uq.edu.au
Identifying risk factors for poor functional recovery of the neck and shoulder after neck dissection surgery in patients with head and neck cancer Physiotherapy Research Foundation 2015 Seeding Grant Gane E, O'Leary S, McPhail S, Hatton A, Panizza B.  
Validation of a diagnostic support tool for the early recognition of cervical arterial dissection in patients with acute onset of neck pain or headache   Thomas L, Wong A, Holliday E, Attia J l.thomas2@uq.edu.au
Optimising patient selection and resource utilization for the non-surgical management of common orthopaedic conditions RBWH Research Grant O’Leary, McPhail, Comans, Raymer, Khan. An investigation of the mechanical properties of the cervical arteries using ultrasound and magnetic resonance elastography
Review of the 2006 APA  Guidelines for Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency Australian Physiotherapy Association Thomas L, Shirley D, Refshauge K, Rivett D  

Media Comment:

International Collaborators

  • Professor Gisela Sjøgaard, Institute of Sport Sciences and Clinical Biomechanics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • Professor Markus Melloh, Director Centre for Health Sciences, Zurich University of Applied Science
  • Professor Anneli Peolsson, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Physiotherapy, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Dr Hilla Sarig Bahat, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Haifa
  • Dr Jinny Uthaikup, Chaing Mai University Thailand
  • Dr Ulrik Ulrik Röijezon, Department of Health Sciences Lulea University Sweden
  • Dr  Peter Michaelson, Department of Health Sciences, Lulea University Sweden
  • Dr Martin Björklund,  Umeo University,  Sweden
  • Dr Nicholas Clark, St Marys University London 
  • Dr Alison Rushton, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Markus Ernst ZHAW School of Health Professions, Switzerland

National Collaborators

  • Professor James Elliott, Allied Health NSLHD The University of Sydney
  • Professor Leon Straker, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University of Technology, Perth
  • Dr Ross Clark, University of Sunshine Coast
  • Dr Trudy Reebeck, University of Sydney
  • Dr Tasha Stanton, University of South Australia
  • Dr Sue Reid, ACU Sydney
  • Professor Julie Hides, Deputy Head of School Allied Health Griffith University Nathan Brisbane.
  • Dr Joanne Bullock- Saxton, Research Co-ordinator Active Rehabilitation, Brisbane
  • Dr Angelo Basteris, Post doc fellow, Griffith University
  • Professor Nancy LowChoy, ACU and PCH
  • Professor Chris Levi, Hunter Medical Research Unit, John Hunter Hospital, The University of Newcastle
  • Professor John Attia, Hunter Medical Research Unit, The University of Newcastle
  • Dr Elizabeth Holliday, Hunter Medical Research Unit, The University of Newcastle
  • Professor Philip Bolton, The University of Newcastle
  • Professor Darren Rivett, The University of Newcastle
  • Dr Andrew Wong, Director of Neurology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr Rebecca Crawford Adj. Assoc. Prof. Curtin University, Perth, Australia

The University of Queensland

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Collaborators:

Inter-School/Faculty Collaborators

  • Professor Katie McMahon, Centre for Advanced Imaging
  • Gail Durbridge, Centre for Advanced Imaging
  • Professor Deborah Theordoros,  Director of RECOVER Injury Research Centre

Contact the Neck Pain and Whiplash Research Group