19 Jun 2019

Summer 2019 - Hands-on, hands-off

The debate about whether hands-on physiotherapy is any more, or less effective than treating hands-off with advice and exercise programmes is an ongoing one. Our Physio First 2019 conference aimed, through the expertise of our excellent UK and International speakers, to discuss this issue and obtain clarification for our members. Some of our lecturers have very kindly written articles based on the lectures to enable all of our members to benefit from the topic under discussion.


Hands-on, hands-off: is that even a thing?

This article provides a critical appraisal of the debate about “hands-on or hands-off”. It is important for individual clinicians and the broader profession, to understand the multiple dimensions through which this debate should take place. Arguments “against” and “for” the retention of “hands-on” physiotherapy are presented with reference to population data, social media dialogue, and sociocultural perspectives. Readers will understand the nuances and complexities of such a debate, as well as being informed about the latest scientific evidence and theories regarding the use of touch in physiotherapy.

Roger Kerry


New insights into pain related changes in muscle behaviour revealed by high-density surface electromyography

This article reviews the findings from high-density surface electromyography with a focus on changes in the behaviour of the lumbar erector spine and upper trapezius in people with low back pain and neck pain respectively.

Deborah Falla & Alessio Gallina


Fascial system: a sensory organ

Science has dismissed the value of a connective tissue structure that, internally and externally, encompasses our whole body. However, research has now established that normal muscle function depends on the health of the fascial system and the ability of receptors within it to feed back to the central nervous system. Alterations to the fascia, such as thickening, densification or restriction can cause interference in muscle function or co-ordination.

Antonio Stecco


Establishing approaches to behaviours and movement in low back pain: thinking beyond what we observe

This article is based on the course delivered at our Physio First 2019 conference and highlights some of the clincal methods of addressing alterations in movement behaviour that may help to integrate more novel approaches to supporting individuals presenting with long-term low back pain

Neil Langridge


Is Quality a choice?

In the final session of our 2019 Physio First conference, Pam Simpson welcomed Natalie Beswetherick from the CSP and Greg Swarbrick from Bupa to co-present their respective visions on how quality is increasingly a feature in our physiotherapy marketplace.

Pam Simpson, Natalie Beswetherick & Greg Swarbrick