Dr Brooke Coombes

UQ Postdoctoral Research Fellow for

School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
b.coombes@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53132

Overview

Brooke is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with a special interest in assessment and treatment of tendinopathy. Her research is aimed at improving our understanding of why some people develop chronic musculoskeletal pain, how we can best identify these people and developing optimal treatments for these individuals. Her current research is using shear wave elastography to examine the mechanical properties of tendon, and quantitative sensory testing to explore central pain processing in people with tendon injury or disease.

Research Interests

  • Tendinopathy evaluation and treatment
    Understanding the mechanisms involved in the development and persistence of pain and disability from upper and lower limb tendinopathies, such as tennis elbow, jumpers knee and Achilles tendinopathy
  • Evaluation of musculotendinous mechanical properties using Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography
    Development of innovative methodology to provide quantitative measurement of regional tissue stiffness within the muscle-tendon unit to understand the effects of aging, physical activity and to optimise exercise prescription for rehabilitation.
  • Type 2 Diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and lower limb pain.
    Using quantitative sensory testing of peripheral nerve function and quantitative measurement of tissue stiffness to understand the effects of diabetes on the development and persistence of lower limb pain.
  • Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy evaluation.
    Using quantitative sensory testing to monitor the effects of treatments in patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast and other forms of cancer.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Physiotherapy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours), The University of Queensland

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Shear wave elastography is emerging as as a quantifiable method of evaluation of tissue stiffness within the quadriceps musculotendinous unit. In collaboration with Dr Kylie Tucker and Professor Francois Hug, we have conducted preliminary work in healthy individuals to understand how loads are transmitted between the quadricep muscles and within specific regions of the patellar tendon. This method will be used to test people with patellar tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain syndrome, leading to new information to optimise exercise presription to reduce the risk of injury or rehabilitate from injury.

  • People with Type 2 Diabetes have a greater risk of musculoskeletal conditions and neuropathic pain. In collaboration with Professor Jeff Coombes, we have conducted preliminary work to determine the effects of diabetes on tissue stiffness, lower limb peripheral sensation and motor function. New work will evaluate the effects of diabetes on the central nervous system and pain modulatory processes as a potential target for reducing the chronic pain burden in this population.

  • Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of chemotherapy agents used to treat breast cancer, adversely affecting quality of life and cancer treatment. In conjunction with Dr Alexandra McCarthy and Dr Tina Skinner, we will use quantitative sensory testing to evaluate the effects of exercise intervention in people underoing Taxane treatment for breast cancer.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Shear wave elastography is emerging as as a quantifiable method of evaluation of tissue stiffness within the quadriceps musculotendinous unit. In collaboration with Dr Kylie Tucker and Professor Francois Hug, we have conducted preliminary work in healthy individuals to understand how loads are transmitted between the quadricep muscles and within specific regions of the patellar tendon. This method will be used to test people with patellar tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain syndrome, leading to new information to optimise exercise presription to reduce the risk of injury or rehabilitate from injury.

  • People with Type 2 Diabetes have a greater risk of musculoskeletal conditions and neuropathic pain. In collaboration with Professor Jeff Coombes, we have conducted preliminary work to determine the effects of diabetes on tissue stiffness, lower limb peripheral sensation and motor function. New work will evaluate the effects of diabetes on the central nervous system and pain modulatory processes as a potential target for reducing the chronic pain burden in this population.

  • Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of chemotherapy agents used to treat breast cancer, adversely affecting quality of life and cancer treatment. In conjunction with Dr Alexandra McCarthy and Dr Tina Skinner, we will use quantitative sensory testing to evaluate the effects of exercise intervention in people underoing Taxane treatment for breast cancer.