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New research highlighted at awards night

New research findings based on a randomised clinical trial of more than 200 patients with gluteal tendinopathy will get its first live Australian physiotherapy airing during a presentation at the APA’s New South Wales Branch Awards night in August.

APA Sports Physiotherapist and professor in sports physiotherapy at the University of Queensland, Bill Vicenzino, will discuss the findings of the trial during his keynote presentation at the awards night, to be held in Ultimo on Friday 3 August from 6.30pm. He will also present the tennis elbow clinical trial that was rated in the top 15 (of 29,000) PEDro-indexed ground-breaking trials that mark important milestones in the evolution of physiotherapy treatment.

The ‘Clinical implications and applications of the research of two common insertional tendinopathies: gluteal and lateral elbow’ presentation will detail the clinical trials, which compared physiotherapy-delivered manual therapy, education and exercise programs with a steroid injection and ‘wait and see’ program—the findings of which Bill says are new, exciting and ‘hot off the press for the gluteal tendinopathy study’.

‘Basically I like to feel confident that there is evidence supporting a management approach; for tennis elbow there’s a number of studies that show quite a predictable pattern of response for commonly-used injections and physiotherapy,’ Bill says. ‘So I’d like to be able to tell the awards night attendees about that, and show them how the evidence links to clinical practice. The information I’ll be sharing about gluteal tendinopathy has not been seen before. It’s quite exciting, it’s quite a pragmatic physio program that delivers nice outcomes. So there will be some evidence-based takeaways which can be applied in clinics the next day.’

Bill says he was fortunate to get NHMRC funding for the clinical trial and he expects the paper will soon be published in The BMJ as an open access freely available paper. He also plans to help disseminate the results through online platforms, in his teaching, and through presentations.

‘I think something about these physiotherapy treatment programs that clinicians like is that they take a pragmatic approach to education and exercise, with a real alignment to the thinking of the majority of contemporary physiotherapists,’ Bill says. ‘So there’s some really simple advice that is carried through to the exercise progressions. Once physios have a look at this, some of them will be tempted to say “well I already do that”, so hopefully it won’t be that difficult in the translation of the findings of the clinical trials. Stopping clinicians from injecting these patients appears to be a bit harder because in tennis elbow we’ve shown that cortisone injections are not good, in fact they’re very bad. Yet 12 years after our initial tennis elbow study the rate of patients receiving injections has not abated.’

Bill, who won an award for the best conference presentation at the Scandinavian Sports Medicine Congress for the gluteal tendinopathy clinical trial, says he considers it an honour to be asked to present at the New South Wales Branch Awards and dinner, as it is a chance for him to contribute to the profession he is passionate about and that has afforded him a living. He will hold the floor for 45 to 60 minutes during his presentation and will follow with a question and answer session, giving physiotherapists an opportunity to learn more about the research and how it can translate into clinical practice.

‘I’m looking forward to the evening. I find with these events everyone’s nice and relaxed, generally there is some good discussion and the awards are always exciting.’

Melissa Mitchell


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