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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Cormac Ryan is a Reader in Physiotherapy at Teesside University. He graduated from the University of Limerick in 2002 with a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science and completed an MSc in Physiotherapy (pre-registration) at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.

He was awarded his PhD from the Glasgow Caledonian University in 2008 where he looked at the relationship between physical activity and chronic lower back pain.

Before coming to Teesside in September 2010 he was a Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Cormac has published over thirty peer-reviewed journal articles and obtained more the £650,000 in competitive funding. Cormac is the editor in chief of Pain and rehabilitation - the journal of the Physiotherapy Pain Association, a peer-review journal with a 20 year history. Cormac is also the current chair of the Physiotherapy Research Society and co-lead of the North East of England hub of the Council for Allied Health Professionals Research.

Summary of Research Interests

Cormac's research interests are primarily in the area of chronic pain, its impact on patients and interventions to manage the condition. These fit within the Rehabilitation sciences theme of HSCI. Cormac's other key research interest is physical activity and physical activity monitoring with an emphasis on the measurement of sedentary behaviour and strategies to reduce sedentary behaviour. Other areas of interest inclide the bio-psychosocial model of rehabilitation, chronic low back pain, return-to-work, pain education and the role of the patient therapist relationship.

Current Projects:

An exploration of the experiences and educational needs of patients with Failed Back Surgery Syndrome receiving spinal cord stimulation. (obtained December 2014). Funder: Medtronics LTD.

Principal Investigator: Dr Cormac Ryan PhD

Co applicants: Professor Sam Eldabe, Dr Raymond Chadwick PhD, Professor Denis Martin

Amount: £9,944

North East Regional Back Pain Pathway (Obtained December 2014)

Funder: The Health Foundation

Principal Investigator: Martin Phillips (Chief Executive NHS Darlington CCG)

Co applicants: Teesside University co applicants are Dr Sharon Hamilton PhD, Dr Cormac Ryan PhD, Dr Dono Widiatmoko PhD and Professor Denis Martin

Amount: £500,000

Exploring re-conceptualisation of pain as a mechanism underlying the effects of pain neurophysiology education for back pain: a qualitative study. (Obtained Jan 2014)

Funder: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (Scheme B)

Principal Investigator: Mr. Richard King

Co applicants: Dr. Cormac Ryan Ph.D (Supervisor), Mrs. Victoria Robinson, Professor Denis Martin.

Amount: £16,719.23

Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) for patients with upper limb complex regional pain syndrome: A feasibility study. (Obtained 2013)

Funder: British Association of Hand Therapists (BAHT)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Cormac Ryan PhD.

Co applicants: Professor Denis Martin, Professor Mark Johnson, Dr. David Punt, Mr. Richard King, Mrs Victoria Robinson, Professor Christian Gruneberg, Professor Hubert Dinse.

Amount: £19,455

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Research Output

Does duration of pain at baseline influence longer-term clinical outcomes of low back pain patients managed on an evidence-based pathway?

Jess, M-A., Ryan, C., Hamilton, S., Wellburn, S., Atkinson, G., Greenough, C., Coxon, A., Peat, G., Fatoye, F., Ferguson, D., Dickson, A., Ridley, H. & Martin, D., 14 Aug 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Spine.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Inter-individual differences in the responses to pain neuroscience education in adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

    Watson, J., Ryan, C., Atkinson, G., Williamson, P., Elington, D., Whittle, R., Dixon, J. & Martin, D., 25 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Pain. p. 1-38 38 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Press / Media

    Digital experts looking to get beyond the 'audition' stage in international healthcare project

    John Dixon, Cormac Ryan, Denis Martin & Shaun Wellburn


    5 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Free Seminars and Advice on Active Aging at Elevate, 10-11 May

    Cormac Ryan


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Increasing patient empathy in pain management

    Cormac Ryan


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Muscle pain increases heart disease risk

    Cormac Ryan


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Researchers find link between chronic pain and heart disease

    Cormac Ryan


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Press / Media