Dr Lucy Thomas

Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
l.thomas2@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51644

Overview

Lucy Thomas is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in the Dicipline of Physiotherapy at the University of Queensland. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Newcastle in 2013, with thesis entitled ' Minimising risk factors for cervical spine manipulation'. She holds a Master of Medical Science from the University of Newcastle 'Valdity of the Doppler velocimeter as a pre-manipulative screening tool for vertebral artery flow'. She is also a practicing registered Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with postgraduate qualifications (Grad Dip App Sc (Manipulative Physiotherapy) from the University of Sydney. Her doctoral research focussed on investigating risk factors and clinical presentation of patients presenting with craniocervical arterial dissection, as well as examining blood flow changes in the cervical arteries with head movement. Lucy has particular interests in the safety of manual treatment of the neck, the recognition of red flag conditions in patients presenting with headache and neck pain, and the evaluation and management of cervical spine disorders including headache and dizziness.

Research Interests

  • Cervical arterial dissection
    This is a common cause of stroke in young to middle aged people and has been linked to neck manipulation. My research is to validate a simple diagnostic support tool to help clinicians recognise this serious pathology.
  • Differential diagnosis of headache, neck pain and dizziness
    My research aims to identify musculoskeletal impairments in headache, neck pain and dizziness to better direct targeted management.

Research Impacts

Dr Thomas's research has had particularr impact in the area of safety in management of the cervical spine. She led the development of the 'Clinical guide to safe manual therapy practice in the cervical spine' published on the webpage of the Australian Physiotherapy Association www.physiotherapy.asn.au/cervicalspine .This includes simple infographic style documents which assist clincians in busy clinical practice how to recognise relevant vascular disorders in the neck and what action to take. It also provides guidance on safe practice. The site is visible outside the organisation to all and has wide uptake both within Australia and internationally.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This project will look at the role of the neck in vestibular migraine examining a battery of musculoskeletal and sensorimotor assessments in people with a diagnosis of vestibular migraine, towards the development of more targeted management approaches.

  • This project will invesitgate quantitative sensory measures- both static and dynamic, in people with migraine and/or tension type headache. The findings of the study will guide the development of more targeted advice and education strategies as well as treatment options in the management of those living with this type of chronic headache condition.

  • This project will investigate clinical measures to assist in the differential diagnosis of dizziness in order to help identify causes such as vestibular, cervicogenic and vascular causes eg vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI)

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

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.

  • This project will look at the role of the neck in vestibular migraine examining a battery of musculoskeletal and sensorimotor assessments in people with a diagnosis of vestibular migraine, towards the development of more targeted management approaches.

  • This project will invesitgate quantitative sensory measures- both static and dynamic, in people with migraine and/or tension type headache. The findings of the study will guide the development of more targeted advice and education strategies as well as treatment options in the management of those living with this type of chronic headache condition.

  • This project will investigate clinical measures to assist in the differential diagnosis of dizziness in order to help identify causes such as vestibular, cervicogenic and vascular causes eg vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI)