Dr Alison Rushton EdD, MSc, Grad Dip Phys, Cert Ed, Dip TP, FCSP, HCPC, FHEA, FMACP

Dr Alison Rushton

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy
Academic Lead Physiotherapy
Programme Leader MSc Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) programmes

Contact details

Address
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Alison Rushton is Physiotherapy Academic Lead and Lead for Postgraduate Taught programmes in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Programme Leader for the MSc Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) programme.

Alison has worked within education since 1993 with a focus to teaching and research in the specialist area of musculoskeletal / manipulative physiotherapy / sports medicine.

Alison is active in the development of advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapy / sports medicine as specialist areas of physiotherapy through her teaching on the MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy and MSc Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) programmes and through her research.

Alison’s roles external to the University support her specialist focus. She Chairs the Standards Committee of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists, is on the Editorial Board of the Manual Therapy journal, joint lead of a lumbar spine research collaboration with the English Institute of Sport, and lead for a musculoskeletal physiotherapy programme of research within the School.

Qualifications

  • Doctorate In Education, University of Warwick, 2004
  • MSc Manipulative Physiotherapy, Coventry University, 1997
  • Membership of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, 1997
  • Diploma in Teaching Physiotherapy, Coventry University, 1991
  • Certificate in Education, Wolverhampton Polytechnic, 1991
  • Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, 1987
  • Registrant with the Health Professions Council, 1987
  • Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, The Middlesex Hospital School of Physiotherapy, 1987

Biography

Alison Rushton qualified with a Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy from the Middlesex Hospital School of Physiotherapy in 1987. She went on to specialise in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, and then to undertake further study to commence teaching full time in 1993. In support of her manipulative physiotherapy and sports medicine focus, Alison completed an MSc in Manipulative Physiotherapy in 1997 and a Doctorate in Education in 2004. Alison has worked here at the University of Birmingham since 2001.

Alison's involvement in teaching, learning and supervision encompasses the subject areas of musculoskeletal physiotherapy, manipulative therapy, sports medicine, evidence based practice, clinical reasoning, and research methods. Her involvement is focused to the postgraduate programmes, particularly teaching and supervision on the MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy, MSc Exercise and Sports Medicine (Football) and MRes Health Research programmes and supervising PhD students.

Alison's background clinically is within the speciality of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. This has been developed throughout her time within education both through a masters degree and private practice. This aspect of Alison's work has been reflected in her previous involvement within the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MACP) where she chaired the Committee for Education and Approval and was Vice Chair of the Executive Committee. She is now actively involved within the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) internationally as Chair of the Standards Committee.

Alison currently leads an evolving programme of musculoskeletal physiotherapy research in collaboration with national and international partners.

Alison has been awarded a fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, a fellowship of the Musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and Honorary membership of the OMT Espana Terapia Manual Ortopedica for her national and international contribution to musculoskeletal physiotherapy research and education.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Alison is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy, particularly low back pain, lumbar spinal surgery, and Whiplash Associated Disorder

Sports medicine

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Alison on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   

Current PhD supervisions include:

  • The Effectiveness of Conservative Management for Acute Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) II.
  • Use of splints to aid motor control during gait in the management of children with cerebral palsy.
  • Responsiveness of skeletal muscle to timing and distribution of protein intake in older adults
  • Clinical reasoning in musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Promotion of physical activity in middle aged and older adults with lower limb osteoarthritis
  • Effectiveness of a combined exercise and weight loss intervention for managing osteoarthritis
  • Effectiveness of independent prescribing by physiotherapists managing chronic low back pain
  • Independent prescribing by pharmacists and physiotherapists in the UK
  • Effectiveness of a behavioural physiotherapy intervention for the management of lower limb osteoarthritis
  • The effect of work-based facilitation in clinical reasoning on outcome in musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Cross cultural implications of a patient leaflet as part of a physiotherapy intervention for the effectiveness of rehabilitation following lumbar discectomy surgery 

Research

Research Themes

Human Movement and Rehabilitation

Research Activity

Alison has published 58 original peer reviewed international, 13 invited editorials in professional journals, delivered 11 invited international keynote presentations, >45 research focused conference oral / poster presentations and numerous other teaching presentations at national / international conferences.

Alison’s programme of musculoskeletal physiotherapy research encompasses the following strands:

Physiotherapy rehabilitation post lumbar discectomy (PI)

Phase III trial in collaboration with MDS, Oxford Surgical Trials Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University, and 7 clinical sites.

Based on established programme of research: survey of current UK practice, systematic review evaluating effectiveness of interventions, development of leaflet intervention, pilot and feasibility trial; and development of physiotherapy intervention, analysis of intervention; and systematic reviews of natural course of symptoms and prognostic factors, and qualitative analysis of patients’ experiences.

Case study: Effective rehabilitation following lumbar spinal surgery

Physiotherapy stratified rehabilitation post lumbar spinal fusion (PI)

Prospective cohort observation study evaluating prognostic factors indicative of poor clinical outcome using the British Spine Registry and equivalent databases in collaborating countries (Netherlands and Switzerland). Results will inform stratified care physiotherapy intervention.

Based on established programme of research:  surveys of current national surgeon and physiotherapy practice, systematic review evaluating effectiveness of interventions, and systematic reviews of natural course of symptoms and prognostic factors.

Case study: Effective rehabilitation following lumbar spinal surgery

Active Behavioural Physiotherapy intervention in acute whiplash

Pilot and feasibility trial in UK private physiotherapy sector.

Based on established programme of research: two systematic reviews and cohort study; and development of intervention.

Case study: Thoracic spine dysfunction in musculoskeletal presentations

International framework for Examination of the Cervical Region for potential of Cervical Arterial Dysfunction prior to Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Intervention (PI)

Framework developed through international consensus process. Now at implementation and evaluation of impact stage.

Lumbar spine research collaboration with the English Institute of Sport (PI)

Collaboration focused to investigating key issues in the assessment and rehabilitation of lumbar spinal dysfunction in elite athletes.

Other activities

  • Chair of the Standards Committee of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT), responsible for maintaining international standards in manipulative physiotherapy 
  • Editorial Board, Manual Therapy journal 
  • Invited member of English Institute of Sport’s Technical Advisory Group – strategic group that challenges the evidence based direction of the Institute.
  • Reviewer of articles submitted for publication to the following journals: Spine, BMJ Open, Physiotherapy, Canadian Physiotherapy Journal, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Medical Teacher, Medical Education 
  • Reviewer of research proposals submitted to the Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, National Council for Osteopathic Research, NIHR HTA, RfPB, and EME programmes 
  • Reviewer of papers submitted for presentation at WCPT and IFOMPT conferences 
  • Trial Steering Group membership 
  • PhD examination

Publications

Recent publications:

Luedtke K, Rushton A, Wright C. Jürgens T, Polzer A, Mueller G, May A (2015). Effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation alone or preceding cognitive-behavioral management for chronic low back pain: a sham-controlled, double blinded randomized controlled trial, BMJ. 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1640. JIF 16.3.

Silsbury, Z., Goldsmith, R., & Rushton, A. (2015). Systematic review of the measurement properties of self-report physical activity questionnaires in healthy adult populations. BMJ open5(9), e008430.

Stow R, Ives N, Smith C, Rick C, Rushton A (submitted 11/5/15). A cluster randomised feasibility trial evaluating nutritional interventions in the treatment of malnutrition in care home-dwelling adults. Trials. Trials 2015, 16:433  doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0952-2 JIF 2.12.

WiangkhamT, Duda J, Haque S, Madi M, Rushton A (2015). The Effectiveness of Conservative Management for Acute Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) II: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PlosOne 10(7), e0133415. JIF 3.534.

Heneghan N, Rushton A (2015). Understanding why the thoracic region is the 'Cinderella' region of the spine. Manual Therapy. JIF 1.761

Rushton A, Heneghan N, White L, Heap A, Hamid N, Eveleigh G, Wright C (2015). Survey of current surgeon practice for patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion in the UK. World Journal of Orthopedics. World J Orthop 6(6):483-490. Published online 2015 July 18. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i6.483.

Goodwin P, Wright C, Allan C, Crowther L, Darley C,Heap A, Paul E, White L, Rushton A (2015). Evidence-based development of a post-surgical lumbar discectomy leaflet intervention: a Delphi consensus study. BMJ Open 2015;5:e006069 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006069 JIF 2.063.

Stow RE, Rushton AB, Ives NJ, Smith C, Rick CE (2015). A cluster randomised feasibility trial evaluating six-month nutritional interventions in the treatment of malnutrition in care home-dwelling adults: recruitment, data collection and protocol. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 1:3.

Porter T, Rushton A (2015). The efficacy of exercise in preventing injury in adult male football: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Sports Medicine – Open; 1:4.

Green A, Liles C, Rushton A, Kyte D (2014). Measurement properties of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: A systematic review. Manual Therapy 19:517-526. JIF 2.237.

Rushton AB, Fawkes CA, Carnes D, Moore AP (2014). A modified Delphi consensus study to identify UK osteopathic profession research priorities. Manual Therapy;19(5):445-52. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2014.04.013.

Williams AL, Phillips CJ, Watkins A, Rushton A (2014). The effect of work-based mentoring on patient outcome in musculoskeletal physiotherapy: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 2014;15:409  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-15-409 JIF 2.12.

Rushton A. Wright C. Heap, A. White, L. Eveleigh, G. Heneghan, N (2014). Survey of Current Physiotherapy Practice for Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spinal Fusion in the United Kingdom. Spine; 39(23),E1380–E1387. JIF 2.447.

Rushton A, Wright C, Kontakiotis N, Mystrakis A, Frydas D, Heneghan N (2014). Discriminative validity of sensory evaluation in a whiplash-associated disorder II population. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation;21(10):460-467. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/ijtr.2014.21.10.460

Kerry R, Rushton A, Flynn T, Hing W, Carlesso L, Rivett D (2014) Response to – Risk reduction of serious complications from manual therapy: Are we reducing the risk? Manual Therapy: Volume 19, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages e3–e4

Rushton A. Wright C. Heap, A. White, L. Eveleigh, G. Heneghan, N (2014). Survey of Current Physiotherapy Practice for Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spinal Fusion in the United Kingdom. Spine; 39(23), E1380–E1387. JIF 2.447. Contribution: PI

Rushton A, Rivett D, Carlesso L, Flynn T, Hing W, Kerry R (2014). International Framework for Examination of the Cervical Region for potential of Cervical Arterial Dysfunction prior to Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Intervention, Manual Therapy;19(3):222-8. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2013.11.005. Epub 2013 Nov 23. JIF 1.761.

Bent N, Rushton A, Wright C, Petherwick EJ, Batt M (2013).  Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the Anteromedial Reach Test in healthy participants, Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine.

Rushton A, Rivett D, Carlesso L, Flynn T, Hing W, Kerry R (2012). International Framework for Examination of the Cervical Region for potential of Cervical Arterial Dysfunction prior to Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Intervention, International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapy. 

Kerry R, Taylor A, Rushton A, McCarthy C, Mercer C (2012). Should we abandon cervical spine manipulation for mechanical neck pain? Rapid response, BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.e3680 http://www.bmj.com.ezproxyd.bham.ac.uk/content/344/bmj.e3679/rr/588701 JIF 13.471.

Rushton A, Eveleigh G, Petherick EJ, Heneghan N, Bennett R, James G, Wright C (2012). Physiotherapy rehabilitation following lumbar spinal fusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials, BMJ Open, 2:4 e000829 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000829. JIF 1.583.

Luedtke K, Rushton A, Wright C, Geiss B, Juergens T, May A (2012). Transcranial direct current stimulation for the reduction of clinical and experimentally induced pain - a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Journal of Pain, 28(5):452-61. JIF 3.005.

Goldsmith R, Wright C, Bell SF, Rushton A (2012). Cold hyperalgesia as a prognostic  factor in Whiplash Associated Disorders: a systematic review, Manual Therapy, 17(5):402-10. JIF  2.237.

Rankin G, Rushton A, Olver P, Moore A (2012). Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s identification of national research priorities for physiotherapy using a modified Delphi technique. Physiotherapy, 98(3):260–272. doi:10.1016/j.physio.2012.03.002. JIF 1.570.

Savva C, Rushton A, Karagiannis C (2012). Test-retest reliability of grip strength measurement in full  elbow extension to evaluate maximum grip strength. Journal of Hand Surgery: European Volume, Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print]. JIF 0.868.

Kyte D, Eveleigh G, Rushton A (2012). Myofascial Pain Referral: Pattern Recognition in the Upper Quadrant, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 19(3): 144 – 152.

Bent N, Rushton A, Wright C, Batt M (2012). Distance Reached in the Anteromedial Reach Test as a Function of Learning and Leg Length, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 83(2):188-195. JIF 1.2.

Rushton A, Calvert M, Wright C, Freemantle N (2011). Physiotherapy trials for the 21st century – time to raise the bar?  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 104: 437-441. JIF 1.717.

Rushton A, Wright C, Goodwin P, Calvert M, Freemantle N (2011). Physiotherapy rehabilitation post first lumbar discectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. Spine 36(14):E961-72. JIF 2.793.

Rushton A, Wright C, Heneghan N, Eveleigh G, Calvert M, Freemantle N (2011). Physiotherapy rehabilitation for Whiplash Associated Disorder II: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ Open 1:e000265. JIF 1.583.

Rushton A, Spencer S (2011). The Effects of Soft Tissue Mobilisation Techniques on Flexibility and Passive Resistance in the Hamstring Muscle-Tendon Unit: a pilot investigation. Manual Therapy. 16:161-166. JIF 2.237.

Burgess RM, Rushton A, Wright C, Daborn C (2011). The Validity and Accuracy of Clinical Diagnostic Tests Used to Detect Labral Pathology of the Hip: A Systematic Review. Manual Therapy 16(4):318-26. JIF 2.237.

Luedtke K, Rushton A, Wright C, Jeurgens TP, Mueller G, May A (2011). Effectiveness of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in patients with chronic low back pain: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal 12:290 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-290. JIF 1.94.

O’Conaire E, Rushton A, Wright C (2011). Assessment of vibration sense in a healthy population: a study to assess the inter-rater reliability and validity of the tuning fork, Manual Therapy 16(3):296-300. JIF 2.237.

Oliver G, Rushton A (2011). A study to explore the reliability and precision of intra and inter-rater measures of ULNT1 on an asymptomatic population, Manual Therapy. 16:203-206. JIF 2.237.

Rushton A (2011). An Exploration of the Construct of Masters Level Clinical Practice, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Germany. ISBN 978-3-8443-1173-0.

Rushton A, Lindsay G (2010). Defining the construct of masters level clinical practice in manipulative physiotherapy, Manual Therapy, 15: 93-99. JIF 2.237. 

Rushton A, Moore A (2010). International identification of research priorities for postgraduate theses in musculoskeletal physiotherapy using a modified Delphi technique, Manual Therapy, 15:142-148. JIF 2.237. 

Expertise

Musculoskeletal physiotherapy; evidence based practice; decision making; clinical expertise; postgraduate development of physiotherapists in musculoskeletal physiotherapy; physiotherapy following whiplash and spinal surgery