Kieran O'Sullivan

Kieran O'Sullivan
University of Limerick | UL · school of allied health

PhD M Manip Ther B Physio

About

237
Publications
124,056
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Kieran is a Physiotherapist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. His research interest is musculoskeletal pain and injury, particularly persistent spinal pain. He was awarded the President's Award for Research Excellence and Impact in 2021. His research group provide a free online platform on chronic pain - www.pain-ed.com.
Additional affiliations
September 2005 - present
University of Limerick
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
Education
January 2010 - December 2012
University of Limerick
Field of study
  • Physiotherapy
February 2004 - December 2004
Curtin University
Field of study
September 1995 - June 1999
NUI, Dublin
Field of study

Publications

Publications (237)
Article
Objective: To compare muscle strength and flexibility among a subgroup of women with extension-related chronic nonspecific low back pain (CNLBP) with healthy controls. Methods: In this case-control study, 32 subjects with and without extension-related CNLBP were tested (n = 16 in each group). Gluteal, abdominal, paravertebral, and hamstring stre...
Article
Purpose: To investigate the impact of eastward travel across 7 time zones on sleep, jet lag, and recovery in elite soccer athletes. Methods: Twenty-one male and 20 female athletes (21.5 [1.7] y) traveled from Ireland to Taiwan to represent their national team at the World University Games 2017. Daily monitoring via actigraphy and subjective slee...
Conference Paper
Background Rates of injury among endurance sporting participants are high, as are subjective health complaints (SHCs - e.g. poor sleep, low mood). However, there is limited prospective data evaluating the relationship between SHCs and rates of new injury. Objective To examine longitudinal associations between SHCs, sleep quantity and new injury wi...
Article
Full-text available
Guidelines advocate a combined physical and psychological approach to managing non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP), referred to as psychologically informed practice (PIP). PIP is underpinned by patient-centered principles and skilled communication. Evidence suggests that a physiotherapist-focused style of communication prevails in physiothe...
Article
Full-text available
Athletes are increasingly required to travel domestically and internationally, often resulting in travel fatigue and jet lag. Despite considerable agreement that travel fatigue and jet lag can be a real and impactful issue for athletes regarding performance and risk of illness and injury, evidence on optimal assessment and management is lacking. Th...
Article
Objectives To quantify the incidence, location and severity of injuries in Gaelic football and to identify potential moderators of those injuries. Design Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods A comprehensive search strategy of six electronic databases was undertaken independently by two researchers in March 2020. Studies must have prospect...
Article
Purpose Psychological, social and lifestyle (multidimensional) factors predict low back pain (LBP). The Short Form Örebro Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (SFÖQ) helps clinicians identify these factors in people with LBP and was mandated in a physiotherapy department at one NHS Hospital Trust in the UK. This study examined (i) use of the SFÖQ by physi...
Article
Full-text available
Background The shoulder has been reported as a frequent location of injury in adult professional and amateur rugby, with match injury incidence rates ranging from 1.8 to 3 per 1000 player-hours (h). An increased understanding of the incidence and mechanism of shoulder injuries in school rugby players is vital to establish effective injury preventiv...
Article
Full-text available
Background This study describes the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among older adults who report being hampered in daily activities due to musculoskeletal pain. The characteristics of older adults with debilitating musculoskeletal pain who report CAM use is also examined. Methods Cross-sectional European Social Survey Round 7...
Article
BACKGROUND: Combined physical and psychological programmes (CPPP) are recommended for people with disabling low back pain (LBP). Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) is a physiotherapist-led low intensity CPPP with positive effects in previous studies. The clinical and cost effectiveness of CFT has not previously been evaluated in a randomised contro...
Article
Background: Altered spinal postures and altered motor control observed among people with non-specific low back pain have been associated with abnormal processing of sensory inputs. Evidence indicates that patients with non-specific low back pain have impaired lumbo-pelvic proprioceptive acuity compared to asymptomatic individuals. Objective: To...
Article
Background While pain is common in older adults, the association with physical activity is unclear. Currently, the role physical activity plays in impacting pain developing over time is not well‐defined. Methods Latent transition analysis (LTA) is a model‐based approach to identifying underlying subgroups in a population, longitudinally, based on...
Article
Work absence due to back pain is best predicted by beliefs and attitudes. Lots of money is spent on training in the NHS trying to prevent back pain; this study explores the effect of that training on back pain beliefs. 151 NHS employees were surveyed using the Back Pain Attitudes Questionnaire before and after manual handling training. NHS employee...
Article
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE To systematically review the efficacy of blood flow restriction training (BFRT) on individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA). DESIGN Systematic review with meta-analysis. LITERATURE SEARCH Eight electronic databases were searched by one researcher. STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) comparing BFRT to regular res...
Article
In late 2019, a previously unknown coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19), was reported in Wuhan, China. Similar to the polio virus epidemic, the fear, uncertainty, and collective response associated with COVID-19 have disrupted daily life on a global scale. In this editorial, we argue that it is time for musculoskeletal phy...
Article
Background While pain is very common in older adults, the associated impact on daily life, including usage of medication and healthcare, varies considerably and often pain remains inadequately treated. It is not clear what is associated with this variation. Methods Latent class analysis (LCA) is a model‐based approach to identifying underlying sub...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Tendinopathy is often a disabling, and persistent musculoskeletal disorder. Psychological factors appear to play a role in the perpetuation of symptoms and influence recovery in musculoskeletal pain. To date, the impact of psychological factors on clinical outcome in tendinopathy remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic...
Article
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Objective To evaluate the reporting of eligibility criteria and baseline participant characteristics in randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of exercise interventions in tendinopathy. Methods Randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of exercise therapy compared to a non-exercising intervention in upper and lower lim...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Limited research has been conducted on sleep problems in elite athletes at international competition, and how this relates to their general health and well-being. Methods: Sixty-five elite international athletes (37 males, 28 females, 21.8 ± 2.1 years) from different sports completed validated sleep (Athlete Sleep Screening Questionnair...
Article
Objectives: Low back pain (LBP) is common in rowers and leads to considerable disability and even retirement. The athlete voice can help clinicians to better understand sport-related pain disorders. We aimed to capture the lived experience of LBP in rowers. Methods: Cross-sectional qualitative study using a grounded theory approach. Adult compet...
Article
Objective: Persistent low back pain (PLBP) is a common and costly health problem worldwide. Better strategies to manage it are required. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally evaluate absenteeism, pain, and disability in nurses with PLBP following a cognitive functional therapy (CFT) intervention. Methods: In this case-series pilot stu...
Article
Purpose Despite widespread use, the impact of manual handling (MH) training on low back pain (LBP) beliefs is unclear, with some data suggesting MH instructors hold outdated beliefs about LBP. This study aimed to examine the effect of MH training on a range of LBP beliefs. Materials and methods Ethics committee approval (University of Limerick) wa...
Article
Background: Previous studies have found a negative association between a conditioning pain modulating (CPM) response and pain catastrophizing among pain-free subjects. This study investigated the difference in CPM response between patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) and healthy controls, and the association between pain catastrophizing and...
Article
Aim: To compare repositioning error, habitual and self-perceived optimal sitting posture, between patients with low back pain presenting with a directional preference into extension and asymptomatic individuals. Method: Fifteen patients with low back pain were matched with 15 asymptomatic individuals. Lumbo-pelvic repositioning error, pain, functio...
Article
Background: Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) is a physiotherapist-led individualized intervention for people with people with non-specific chronic low back pain (CLBP), involving biopsychosocial pain education, graded movement exposure and lifestyle coaching. Methods: A multicentre randomized controlled trial (RCT), including 206 participants...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of shortened-length versus through-range exercise training on upper quarter posture in primary school students with Forward Head Posture (FHP). Materials and Methods: Sixty pain-free participants with FHP were randomly allocated to one of three groups; shortened-length training...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of shortened-length versus through-range exercise training on upper quarter posture in primary school students with Forward Head Posture (FHP). Materials and Methods: Sixty pain-free participants with FHP were randomly allocated to one of three groups; shortened-length training...
Article
Background and aims To systemically review the literature to compare freestyle lifting technique, by muscle activity and kinematics, between people with and without low back pain (LBP). Methods Five databases were searched along with manual searches of retrieved articles by a single reviewer. Studies were included if they compared a freestyle lift...
Article
Background: Pain is common in older adults, and associated with increased morbidity and reduced quality of life. Recent research has highlighted different classes of older adults with pain, each with differing impacts on their life. It has not yet been investigated if, and how, such classes change over time and what influences individuals to prosp...
Article
Objectives: To examine the association between subjective health complaints, sleep quantity and new injury within an endurance sport population. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Ninety-five endurance sporting participants were recruited from running, triathlon, swimming, cycling and rowing disciplines. Over 52-week period participant...
Article
Full-text available
Background One-size-fits-all interventions reduce chronic low back pain (CLBP) a small amount. An individualised intervention called cognitive functional therapy (CFT) was superior for CLBP compared with manual therapy and exercise in one randomised controlled trial (RCT). However, systematic reviews show group interventions are as effective as one...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Physiotherapists often feel insecure when managing patients with chronic low back pain associated with psychological factors. This uncertainty could hinder physiotherapists in fostering strong patient-therapist alliances in chronic low back pain practice. The purpose of this study was to explore associations between patient-rated alliance,...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare kinematics of the lower extremity and lumbar spine during a single leg landing task between female volleyball athletes with and without persistent low back pain (LBP). Methods: In this cross sectional study, 36 volunteer female volleyball athletes with (n = 18) and without (n = 18) LBP were recru...
Article
Objectives: To investigate dance exposure, sleep, general health and injury in elite adolescent Irish dancers. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Six Irish dance schools in Ireland. Participants: Thirty-seven elite Irish dancers, aged 13-17, competing at the highest championship level for at least the previous year. Main outcome measures:...
Article
Background : Guidelines advocate that non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) be considered within a multi-dimensional bio-psychosocial (BPS) framework. This BPS approach advocates incorporating the patient's perspective as part of the treatment process. 'Agenda setting' has been introduced as the key to understanding patients' concerns in medi...
Article
Background: Persistent strength deficits secondary to Achilles tendinopathy (AT) have been postulated to account for difficulty engaging in tendon-loading movements, such as running and jumping, and may contribute to the increased risk of recurrence. To date, little consensus exists on the presence of strength deficits in AT. Consequently, researc...
Article
Full-text available
Posture is a frequent topic of discussion for patients, clinicians, the media, and society. A common belief is that spinal pain is caused by sitting, standing, or bending "incorrectly." Despite the absence of strong evidence to support these common beliefs, a large posture industry has flourished, with many interventions and products claiming to "c...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability globally and its costs exceed those of cancer and diabetes combined. Recent evidence suggests that individualised cognitive and movement rehabilitation combined with lifestyle advice (cognitive functional therapy (CFT)) may produce larger and more sustained effects than traditional...
Article
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of clinically relevant sleep problems in elite multi-sport athletes and their associations with sleep hygiene, general health, mood, chronotype, and injury. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: During the competitive season in athletes' home environment. Participants: Elite multi-sport Irish athle...
Article
Aim: To investigate the beliefs of healthcare students about how harmful common daily activities are perceived to be for their lower back. Method: A cross-sectional survey of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and General Nursing pre-registration students in Ireland. Two hundred and forty two students completed the modified Photograph Series of Da...
Article
In addition to the difficulties encountered by non-dancing university students, university-level dancers may encounter a range of challenges due to their status as aesthetic athletes. This pilot study compares the biopsychosocial characteristics of contemporary dance (CD) and Irish dance (ID) university students. CD (N = 30) and ID (N = 27) partici...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to investigate the validity and reliability of a novel plastic optical fiber (POF) sensor, which was developed to measure the angles of flexion, extension and lateral bend at the lumbar region. The angles of flexion, extension and lateral bend for a standing position were measured simultaneously using both the novel POF sensor of th...
Article
Adolescent low back pain has received limited research attention despite its potentially considerable impact on quality of life. The role of diagnostic triage to identify serious or specific pathology and/or order relevant investigations is considered. An overview of contemporary pain mechanisms is provided, with specific reference to the wide rang...
Article
Background: The Back-Pain Attitudes (Back-PAQ) questionnaire measures back beliefs across 6 domains. Our previous study showed that manual handling advisors (MHAs) have more negative beliefs than physiotherapists (PTs), and those who think straight back lifting is safer than a rounder back have more negative beliefs. However, exactly which domains...
Article
Purpose:: To determine the association between training load (TL) factors, baseline characteristics and new injury and/or pain (IP) risk within an endurance sporting population (ESP). Methods:: Ninety-five endurance sporting participants from running, triathlon, swimming, cycling and rowing disciplines. Participants initially completed a questio...
Article
Background: Physiotherapists have been urged to embrace a patient-oriented biopsychosocial (BPS) framework for the management of non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP). However, recent evidence suggests that providing broader BPS interventions demonstrates small differences in pain or disability compared to usual care. Little is known about ho...
Article
Background: Assessment of, and advice about, spinal posture is common when people with spinal pain present to physiotherapists. Most descriptions regarding optimal spinal posture have been qualitative in nature. Objectives: To determine the beliefs of physiotherapists regarding optimal sitting and standing posture. Design: Online survey. Method: 54...
Article
Background: It has long been acknowledged that nonspecific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) is associated with a complex combination of biopsychosocial (BPS) factors, and recent guidelines advocate that the management of back pain should reflect this multidimensional complexity. Cognitive functional therapy (CFT) is a behaviourally oriented intervent...
Article
Purpose: To assess the reliability of postural positioning in two different sitting postures (SP), within- and between-days, as well as intra-tester and inter-tester. Methods: Twenty six individuals were facilitated into lordotic (LSP) and neutral (NSP) SP on two different days by four physiotherapists, while kinematic data were collected. Intra-te...
Article
Objectives: Dance exposure and determinants of wellness in Irish dance (ID) and contemporary dance (CD) are under-investigated in pre-professional, collegiate cohorts. This study prospectively investigated these variables in ID and CD participants for one year. Design: Prospective study. Setting: University-level institutes of dance, United Ki...
Article
Objective: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the results related to the effects of corrective exercises on postural variables in individuals with forward head posture (FHP). Methods: A systematic review of the electronic literature through February 2017 was independently performed by 2 investigators. The el...
Article
Dance is an extremely popular activity among adolescents and has a range of associated physical and psychological health benefits. However, pain and injury in young elite dancers is pervasive, and the underlying risk factors are poorly understood. This study investigated the incidence of pain and injury in elite adolescent Irish dancers and examine...
Conference Paper
Background Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) are a leading cause of work disability. Good work offers many potential benefits to employees with MSDs. Understanding the perspectives of all the players involved in helping people with MSD’s to stay at, return to and remain in work will advance understanding of work related interventions and services....