Lectures taking place over the weekend...

Our 2018 Conference is set to be our biggest and best yet with topics ranging from entrapment neuropathies to pelvic floor pain and sports injuries to shoulder pain. Click the panels below to find out more about our speaker's specialised lectures...


Dean Watson

'Cervicogenic Headache’: useful… or an ‘intellectual straitjacket’?

Dean Watson has consulted with over 35,000 headache patients and completed in excess of 12,500 treatments over the last 12 years or more. He has researched the subject of headache exhaustively. He reports that there are over 300 types of headache which have been described and asks the simple question, are there 300 causes of headache? He will put forward the theory that there are similarities between tension headache and migraine, suggesting that the various headache types do not exist as separate patho-physiological entities but are instead located along a continuum underpinned by factors common to all. His clinical experience supports the concept that cervicogenic involvement in headache is underestimated.

Learning outcomes

abreast of contemporary research regarding the pathophysiology of Primary Headache and the case for cervical afferent involvement in Primary Headache


To provide delegates with:

  1. the contemporary research regarding the pathophysiology of Primary Headache;
  2. to challenge the current paradigm of Primary Headache, and
  3. introduce the case for cervical afferent involvement in Primary Headache

Skills gained

  1. Up to date knowledge of the mechanisms of Cervicogenic and Primary Headache;
  2. An insight as to the role of cervical afferents in Primary Headache

Practical application

Delegates will recognise that as Musculoskeletal Physiotherapists we have a much more significant role to play in headache than in just Cervicogenic Headache – with appropriate knowledge, skill and clinical reasoning one can determine if cervical afferents are instrumental in a Primary Headache condition.

Further reading

  • Watson DH, Drummond PD. Head Pain Referral During Examination of the Neck in Migraine and Tension-Type Headache. Headache 2012; 52:1226-1235
  • Watson DH, Drummond PD. Cervical referral of head pain in migraineurs: Effects on the nociceptive blink reflex. Headache 2014; 54:1035-1045


Contemporary headache education in undergraduate physiotherapy programs is based on the traditional medical model of headache which is now seen (by some authorities within the model) to be irrelevant. This lecture substantiates (on a theoretical and research basis) the provision of an examination and treatment (based on advanced palpation skills, knowledge, and clinical reasoning) for Primary Headache sufferers when, currently, the only option is pharmaceutical management.

Lorenzo Masci

Treating tendinopathies at the coalface (with an emphasis on pelvic and lower limb): combining research with clinical experience

Learning outcomes

  • Appreciate the complexities of pain in tendinopathy including recent research suggestion a central role of pain perception
  • Recognise the typical features of tendon-related pain and appreciate the important of a clinical assessment in making a diagnosis and excluding differentials
  • Outline validated outcomes scores for different tendinopathies
  • Describe the role and limitations of traditional and novel imaging modalities in tendinopathy
  • Understand the general principles of loading and exercise therapy in tendinopathies
  • Recognise that non-responders to loading exist and outline strategies to improve outcomes
  • Understand the use and limitations of adjuncts including shockwave, injections and surgery


Give an overview of assessment, investigation and treatment of tendinopathies in the context of recent basic science and clinical research.

Skills gained

  • An understanding of the important principles of clinical assessment in tendinopathy
  • An appreciation that not all pain arising from a tendon is tendon-related pain or tendinopathy
  • An appreciation of the role and limitations of imaging in the clinical assessment of patients with tendinopathy including an important role in excluding differentials
  • An understanding of the general principles of conservative management of tendinopathies and how to prescribe a rehab programe using general principles
  • Knowledge of validated outcome scores for different tendinopathies that can be applied to clinical practice
  • Strategies to improve outcomes for non-responders to loading
  • An appreciation of the role and limitations of adjuncts to loading and how and when they can be employed by the practitioner to improve outcomes


These principles will be applicable in managing patients immediately

Further reading

Cook et al. Revisiting the continuum model of tendon pathology: what is its merits in clinical practice and research? BJSM 2016; 50 (19) 1187-1191.

Dean et al. Emerging concepts in the pathogenesis of tendinopathy. The surgeon 2017 Published online June 14 2017


The lecture will outline evidence-based treatment of patients with tendinopathy to optimise clinical outcomes. It will also outline validated outcome measures to monitor and assess treatment of patients with tendinopathy.


Dr Annina Schmid

Entrapment neuropathies: challenging common beliefs with novel evidence

Learning outcomes:

  • Critically interpret common clinical tests used in patients with entrapment neuropathies
  • Extend your neurological examination with specific test for the small fibre population

Those who see patients with entrapment neuropathies in their clinic, or with an interest in assessment, diagnosis and management of patients with entrapment neuropathies should attend this lecture.

Course aims

  • To discuss recent advances in neuroscience that challenge common beliefs that still prevail in physiotherapy
  • To directly translate these scientific advances into clinical practice

Skills gained:

  • Learn how to perform small fibre testing as an integral part of the neurological examination
  • Careful interpretation of neurodynamic test outcomes and why a negative test does not necessarily mean the nervous system is normal

Practical application:

  • Improvement of the neurological assessment and its critical interpretation. Understanding the value and limitations of neurodynamic testing and treatments

Further reading:

1.         Schmid AB, Nee RJ, Coppieters MW. Reappraising entrapment neuropathies--mechanisms, diagnosis and management. Man Ther 2013;18(6):449-57.

2.         Baselgia L, Bennett DL, Silbiger RM, Schmid AB. Negative neurodynamic tests do not exclude neural dysfunction in patients with entrapment neuropathies. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2016.

3.         Schmid AB, Bland JD, Bhat MA, Bennett DL. The relationship of nerve fibre pathology to sensory function in entrapment neuropathy. Brain 2014;137(Pt 12):3186-99.

This lecture provides you with the latest advances in neuroscience and translates them directly into clinical setting. Evidence based medicine is an integral part of good quality healthcare.

Dr Ruth Jones

The Private Detective: A Closer Look at the Pelvic Floor in Athletes

Learning outcomes

Understand whether there is a pelvic floor component to pelvic pain whether this is groin, abdomen or back etc.

Why attend?

To enhance your understanding of how to help patients and athletes with pelvic pain and to determine the pelvic floor component

This lecture will be theory based and will involve the audience being asked a series of questions to understand their past experiences and understanding of a pelvic floor component

Recommended areas for further reading:

  • Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction, Leon Chaitow, Dr Ruth Jones
  • A Headache in the Pelvis, David Wise
  • Teach us to Sit Still: A sceptic's search for health and healing, Tim Parks


The outcomes for patients suffering with pelvic floor pain will be greatly improved which will be reflected within the QAP scheme through the joint dysfunction and pain diagnosis

Michael Shacklock

Advances in Neurodynamic Mechanisms

Learning outcomes

Awareness of, amongst others, new neurodynamic mechanisms that can be applied to the patient for pain relief, with emphasis on acute painful radiculopathy.

Lecture aims

Inform audience of new mechanisms of neurodynamics and highlight a new aspect of neurodynamic treatment that is not currently practised widely, particularly neurodynamic protective and release techniques that have been recently validated. Introduction to first aid for the neural tissues.

Skills gained

Ability to include or exclude the presented mechanisms in the patient for technique selection and progression based on patient presentation and validated Neurodynamic mechanisms.

Practical application

Understand new models of neurodynamics for clinical application.  With this new knowledge, the audience will have a better facility to be creative clinically based on a new understanding of neurodynamic mechanisms.
The key is evidence.  This presentation will utilise new research evidence for the material presented.


Anju Jaggi

Shoulder Instability: Intelligent Rehabilitation Brain to Muscle to Function

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand the current evidence base for excercise therapy in the shoulder
  • Understand the multi-dimensional elements to movement control
  • How to get it right the first time for complex instability

This lecture would benefit physiotherapists, personal trainers, orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists and sports physicians.

This lecture aims to make us aware of the multifaceted elements in managing patients with shoulder instability and pain, and drawing on the basic science when developing treatment programs and long term management.

Skills gained:

  • Theoretical knowledge of muscle patterns at the shoulder and how to relate this to clinical assessment and management.

Michael Shacklock Sunday

Clinical Application of Neurodynamic Mechanisms

Learning outcomes

Increased awareness of the widening scope of neurodynamics as it is integrated with musculoskeletal mechanisms with particular reference to the nerve root and lumbar intervertebral disc and foramen.  Also, increased awareness of the correlations between loss of neural movement and presence of low back pain and sciatica and that recovery of neural movement is associated with recovery from pain and disability in a graded relationship between the neural and musculoskeletal systems.
Lecture aims

Inform audience of the evidence base for application of clinical techniques directed at the lumbar intervertebral foramen for pain relief from acute lumbar radiculopathy.  Dispel myths about lumbar disc function and expand knowledge into a larger range of mechanisms for neurodynamics.

Skills gained

Awareness of new treatments for acute neural pain and its associated evidence base.

Practical application

New techniques for patient care designed to provide pain relief that extends to home self-care.


The key is evidence. This presentation will utilise new research evidence for the material presented.

George Olivier & Liz Bryant - University of Brighton

DfI - Why Should I?

By the end of this lecture, delegates will be able to appreciate the impact and importance of data collection and the importance of taking part in the Data for Impact project.

All delegates will benefit from attending this lecture! This presentation will inform all members of Physio First of the important of their contribution to the DfI project and to demonstrate the value of their participation to their own professional practice.

Skills gained

Greater insight into the challenges of assuring the quality of their practice and the benefits that participation in DfI will give them.

Areas for further learning

  • Olivier GWJ, Bryant E, Murtagh S: Quality, Quality assurance and quality assured practitioners, In Touch Joint Dysfuntion, autumn edition 2017
  • Bryant E, Murtagh S, Olivier G, Lewes S, Winrow K, Lewis E and Moore A (2016). Impact of using an online standardized data collection system in private physiotherapy practices in the UK: practitioners’ views. Physiotherapy; 102 (s1) e111-e112.
  • Moore AP, Bryant EC and Olivier GWJ (2012) Development and use of standardised data collection tools to support and inform musculoskeletal practice. Manual Therapy 17 (6) 489-496.


You will have a greater understanding of how you can achieve your Quality Assured Practitioner status through data collection.

Dean Watson Sunday

Alternating Headache: C2-3 Disc… Innocent or Guilty?

Learning outcomes

  1. Be abreast of contemporary research regarding cervical discs;
  2. Which challenges conventional teaching and paradigms, and   
  3. Understand why an alternating headache is a musculoskeletal event (aka as a Cervicogenic Headache) 


To demonstrate alternating headache as the cervical (C2-3) equivalent of an alternating lumbar list

Skills gained

Insights as to how to recognise cervicogenic involvement in Primary Headache from the subjective examination

Practical application

Recognising a headache/migraine presentation that is (cervical) musculoskeletal in origin 

Further reading

Watson Headache®  Institute Level 1 course:

‘The Role of C1-3 Afferents in Primary Headache’



Contemporary headache education in undergraduate physiotherapy programs is based on the traditional medical model of headache which is now seen (by some authorities within the model) to be irrelevant. A key diagnostic criterion of Cervicogenic Headache is that it is ‘side-locked’ – ie does not alternate. This lecture substantiates (on a theoretical clinical reasoning and research basis) that alternating headache is a (cervical) musculoskeletal event – this is not taught in undergraduate programs.

Chris Mercer

Inside-out - the role of the viscera in musculoskeletal patient presentations

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Identify common visceral presentations in the MSK setting
  • Undertake a relevant history for a patient presenting with possible visceral symptoms
  • Know where to look for further training/education in this area

This lecture is relevant to thise physiotherapists specialising in MSK, though it would be useful for all treating clinicians as the content will help physiotherapists to differentiate MSK and visceral presentations

This lecture aims to provide an overview of visceral pain presentations that might mimic MSK problems. This will include a look at the mechanisms behind the clinical presentation and tips for the clinical examination of the patient.

You will gain:

  • Recognition of common visceral pain/symptom presentations
  • An increased breadth of subjective history
  • Pointers for further training/skill development in the physical examination

Practical application

  • Information provided will be immediately applicable in the clinical setting with the appropriate patients
  • You will be able to apply the clinical questioning and the pattern recognition skills

Delegates will be provided with additional learning resources following the lecture including academic papers, clinical text books and online information


If visceral pain/symptoms are identified early and appropriately, it should be greatly improved and this will be reflected within the validated outcomes as part of the QAP scheme

Click to download the full programme


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