Upper Limb Pain Research

The upper limb research program focuses on increasing our understanding of tendon conditions at the shoulder, elbow and hand, and improving the management of these common conditions. Research includes defining diagnostic sub categories of upper limb pain, understanding the impairments, participation and activity limitations associated with upper limb pain and designing and testing treatment interventions. The development of patient-reported outcome measures for evaluating shoulder conditions is also a component of the program. This research is led by Dr Tania Pizzari and Dr Ebonie Rio.

SPaRC trial

This ongoing research compares three type of exercise modes for the rehabilitation of people with shoulder pain. Shoulder disorders are a leading cause of pain and disability in our society and there is some evidence to suggest that a structured physiotherapy exercise program is an effective form of treatment, however knowledge of which specific types of exercises are most effective is lacking. The results of this trial will inform clinicians on the best exercises for the rehabilitation of subacromial or rotator cuff related pain.

For more information, visit the SPaRC trial blog page.


Lateral epicondylalgia or "tennis elbow" is a common condition causing elbow pain and dysfunction in both athletes as well as the general population. Currently exercise is the first line of treatment for this condition, however it is not well understood what types of exercise are most effective for treatment of this condition.

For more information, visit the ISOLATE trial blog page.

Developing an outcome measure for Thumb pain (De Quervein’s tenosynovitis)

De Quervein’s tenosynovitis, which is a type of thumb pain,  is often triggered by overuse and irritation of the tendons at the base of the thumb. This can impact upon an individual's ability to participate in sports and perform normal activities of daily living.

For more information, visit the De Quervein’s tenosynovitis blog page.