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Associate Professor Steve Tumilty

PositionAssociate Professor and Registered Physiotherapy Specialist (Musculoskeletal)
QualificationsPhD MPhty GradDipPhys PGDipPhty(OMT) TertTeachCert
Research summaryMusculoskeletal physiotherapy interventions measuring clinical outcomes and mechanistic outcomes
Teaching
  • Postgraduate Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy and postgraduate clinical papers
  • Supervision of PhD and masters’ research students
Memberships
  • Physiotherapy New Zealand
  • New Zealand Manipulative Physiotherapists Association
  • Education committee of NZMPA
  • Editorial board of the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery

Research

My research is focused on answering questions generated from clinical practice. Intervention studies combining clinical outcomes and physiological outcomes, combined with systematic reviews to explore the following topics;

  • Musculoskeletal / sports injury
  • Tendinopathy (especially Achilles)
  • Orthopaedic manipulative therapy; modulation of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary Axis using manual interventions
  • The influence of the sympathetic nervous system on musculoskeletal pain and healing
  • Manual therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Measuring physiotherapy clinical outcomes

Recruiting future PhD students interested in investigating these topics.

Publications

Blyth, R. J., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Why are female footballers getting concussed more often than their male counterparts? A scoping review protocol. Physical Therapy Reviews. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2020.1819073

Othman, R., Dassanayake, S., Jayakaran, P., Tumilty, S., Swain, N., & Mani, R. (2020). Relationships between psychological, social, physical activity and sleep measures and somatosensory function in individuals with spinal pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Journal of Pain, 36(2), 124-134. doi: 10.1097/ajp.0000000000000775

Liu, L., Gisselman, A. S., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Thermal profiles over the Patella tendon in a cohort of non-injured collegiate athletes over the course of a cross-country season. Physical Therapy in Sport, 44, 47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2020.04.034

Maxtone, S., Bishop, M., Chapple, C., Tumilty, S., Quinn, D., & Kennedy, E. (2020). Physiotherapist involvement in concussion services in New Zealand: A national survey. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 48(2), 70-79. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/48.2.03

Kovanur Sampath, K., Darlow, B., Tumilty, S., Shillito, W., Hanses, M., Devan, H., & Thomson, O. P. (2020). Barriers and facilitators experienced by osteopaths in implementing a biopsychosocial (BPS) framework of care when managing people with musculoskeletal pain: A mixed methods systematic review protocol. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 35, 41-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2020.01.001

Journal - Research Article

Blyth, R. J., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Why are female footballers getting concussed more often than their male counterparts? A scoping review protocol. Physical Therapy Reviews. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2020.1819073

Maxtone, S., Bishop, M., Chapple, C., Tumilty, S., Quinn, D., & Kennedy, E. (2020). Physiotherapist involvement in concussion services in New Zealand: A national survey. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 48(2), 70-79. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/48.2.03

Liu, L., Gisselman, A. S., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Thermal profiles over the Patella tendon in a cohort of non-injured collegiate athletes over the course of a cross-country season. Physical Therapy in Sport, 44, 47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2020.04.034

Othman, R., Dassanayake, S., Jayakaran, P., Tumilty, S., Swain, N., & Mani, R. (2020). Relationships between psychological, social, physical activity and sleep measures and somatosensory function in individuals with spinal pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Journal of Pain, 36(2), 124-134. doi: 10.1097/ajp.0000000000000775

Othman, R., Jayakaran, P., Tumilty, S., Swain, N., & Mani, R. (2019). Predictive relationship between psychological, social, physical activity, and sleep measures and somatosensory function in individuals with musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Physical Therapy Reviews, 24(6), 366-376. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2019.1648715

Tumilty, S., Adhia, D. B., Smoliga, J. M., & Gisselman, A. S. (2019). Thermal profiles over the Achilles tendon in a cohort of non-injured collegiate athletes over the course of a cross country season. Physical Therapy in Sport, 36, 110-115. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.01.009

Kennedy, E., Quinn, D., Chapple, C., & Tumilty, S. (2019). Can the neck contribute to persistent symptoms post concussion? A prospective descriptive case series. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 49(11), 845-854. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2019.8547

Miyamori, T., Nagao, M., Sawa, R., Tumilty, S., Yoshimura, M., Saita, Y., … Kaneko, K. (2019). Playing football on artificial turf as a risk factor for fifth metatarsal stress fracture: A retrospective cohort study. BMJ Open, 9(2), e022864. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022864

Baxter, G. D., Liu, L., Tumilty, S., Petrich, S., Chapple, C., Anders, J. J., on behalf of the Laser Lymphedema Trial Team. (2018). Low level laser therapy for the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema: A randomized controlled feasibility study. Lasers in Surgery & Medicine, 50(9), 924-932. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22947

Tumilty, S., Adhia, D. B., Rhodes, R., & Mani, R. (2017). Physiotherapists’ treatment techniques in New Zealand for management of acute nonspecific low back pain and its relationships with treatment outcomes: A pilot study. Physical Therapy Reviews, 22(1-2), 95-100. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2017.1282073

Kovanur-Sampath, K., Mani, R., Cotter, J., Gisselman, A. S., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Changes in biochemical markers following spinal manipulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 29, 120-131. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.04.004

Smith, C. M., Treharne, G. J., & Tumilty, S. (2017). "All those ingredients of the walk": The therapeutic spaces of dog-walking for people with long-term health conditions. Anthrozoös, 30(2), 327-340. doi: 10.1080/08927936.2017.1311063

Baxter, G. D., Liu, L., Petrich, S., Gisselman, A. S., Chapple, C., Anders, J. J., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Low level laser therapy (Photobiomodulation therapy) for breast cancer-related lymphedema: A systematic review. BMC Cancer, 17, 833. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3852-x

Bell, R., Smith, C., Hale, L., Kira, G., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Understanding obesity in the context of an Indigenous population: A qualitative study. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 11(5), 558-566. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2017.04.006

Sampath, K. K., Botnmark, E., Mani, R., Cotter, J. D., Katare, R., Munasinghe, P. E., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Neuro-endocrine response following a thoracic spinal manipulation in healthy men. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 47(9), 617-627. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.7348

Kennedy, E., Quinn, D., Tumilty, S., & Chapple, C. M. (2017). Clinical characteristics and outcomes of treatment of the cervical spine in patients with persistent post-concussion symptoms: A retrospective analysis. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 29, 91-98. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.03.002

Campbell, K., Smith, C. M., Tumilty, S., Cameron, C., & Treharne, G. J. (2016). How does dog-walking influence perceptions of health and wellbeing in healthy adults? A qualitative dog-walk-along study. Anthrozoös, 29(2), 181-192. doi: 10.1080/08927936.2015.1082770

Bell, R., Tumilty, S., Kira, G., Smith, C., & Hale, L. (2016). Using a community based participatory research model within an indigenous framework to establish an exploratory platform of investigation into obesity. Obesity Medicine, 2, 19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.obmed.2016.03.001

Adhia, D. B., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2016). Innominate movement patterns, rotation trends and range of motion in individuals with low back pain of sacroiliac joint origin. Manual Therapy, 21, 100-108. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.06.004

Adhia, D. B., Tumilty, S., Mani, R., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2016). Can hip abduction and external rotation discriminate sacroiliac joint pain? Manual Therapy, 21, 191-197. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.08.002

Kovanur Sampath, K., Mani, R., Miyamori, T., & Tumilty, S. (2016). The effects of manual therapy or exercise therapy or both in people with hip osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(2), 1141-1155. doi: 10.1177/0269215515622670

Gisselman, A. S., Baxter, G. D., Wright, A., Hegedus, E., & Tumilty, S. (2016). Musculoskeletal overuse injuries and heart rate variability: Is there a link? Medical Hypotheses, 87, 1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.12.003

Adhia, D. B., Tumilty, S., Mani, R., Milosavljevic, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2016). Innominate segment deformation during passive hip abduction and external rotation. Manual Therapy, 26, 235-237. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2016.06.004

Adhia, D. B., Mani, R., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., & Bussey, M. D. (2016). Does repeated palpation-digitization of pelvic landmarks for measurement of innominate motion introduce a systematic variation? A psychometric investigation. Manual Therapy, 21, 282-286. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.09.009

Tumilty, S., Mani, R., & Baxter, G. D. (2016). Photobiomodulation and eccentric exercise for Achilles tendinopathy: A randomized controlled trial. Lasers in Medical Science, 31(1), 127-135. doi: 10.1007/s10103-015-1840-4

Villarreal Santiago, M., Tumilty, S., Mącznik, A., & Mani, R. (2016). Does acupuncture alter pain-related functional connectivity of the central nervous system? A systematic review. Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 9(4), 167-177. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2015.11.038

Botnmark, I., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2016). Tactile acuity, body schema integrity and physical performance of the shoulder: A cross-sectional study. Manual Therapy, 23, 9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2016.02.001

Aoyagi, M., Mani, R., Jayamoorthy, J., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Determining the level of evidence for the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in upper limb pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy, 20(4), 515-523. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2014.11.004

Law, D., McDonough, S., Bleakley, C., Baxter, G. D., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Laser acupuncture for treating musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 8(1), 2-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2014.06.015

Krammer, A., Horton, S., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Pulsed electromagnetic energy as an adjunct to physiotherapy for the treatment of acute low back pain: A randomised controlled trial. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 43(1), 16-22. doi: 10.15619/NZJP/43.1.03

Kovanur Sampath, K., Mani, R., Cotter, J. D., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Measureable changes in the neuro-endocrinal mechanism following spinal manipulation. Medical Hypotheses, 85(6), 819-824. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.10.003

Aoyagi, M., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Physiotherapy in New Zealand: Current status and future prospects. Japanese Journal of Physical Therapy, 49(4), 313-320.

Mansi, S., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., Hendrick, P., Higgs, C., & Baxter, G. D. (2015). Investigating the effect of a 3-month workplace-based pedometer-driven walking programme on health-related quality of life in meat processing workers: A feasibility study within a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health, 15, 410. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-1736-z

Mansi, S., Milosavljevic, S., Baxter, G. D., Tumilty, S., & Hendrick, P. (2014). A systematic review of studies using pedometers as an intervention for musculoskeletal diseases. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15, 231. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-231

Kingston, L. C., Claydon, L., & Tumilty, S. (2014). The effects of spinal mobilizations on the sympathetic nervous system: A systematic review. Manual Therapy, 19(4), 281-287. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2014.04.004

Cameron, C., Smith, C. M., Tumilty, S., & Treharne, G. J. (2014). The feasibility and acceptability of using mobile methods for capturing and analysing data about dog-walking and human health [ML Roberts Prize Winner]. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 42(2), 163-169.

Bell, R., Carman, A., & Tumilty, S. (2013). Sports injury profile of competitive Waka Ama (outrigger canoe) paddlers in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 41(1), 30-35.

Tumilty, S., McDonough, S., Hurley, D. A., & Baxter, G. D. (2012). Clinical effectiveness of low-level laser therapy as an adjunct to eccentric exercise for the treatment of Achilles' tendinopathy: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 93(5), 733-739. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.08.049

Nicholas, P., Hefford, C., & Tumilty, S. (2012). The use of the Patient-Specific Functional Scale to measure rehabilitative progress in a physiotherapy setting. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, 20(3), 147-152. doi: 10.1179/2042618612y.0000000006

Adhia, D. B., Bussey, M. D., Ribeiro, D. C., Tumilty, S., & Milosavljevic, S. (2012). Validity and reliability of palpation-digitization for non-invasive kinematic measurement: A systematic review. Manual Therapy, 18(1), 26-34. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.06.004

Lobb, R., Tumilty, S., & Claydon, L. S. (2012). A review of systematic reviews on anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction rehabilitation. Physical Therapy in Sport, 13(4), 270-278. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2012.05.001

Tumilty, S., Munn, J., McDonough, S., Hurley, D. A., Basford, J. R., & Baxter, G. D. (2010). Low level laser treatment of tendinopathy: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, & Laser Surgery, 28(1), 3-16. doi: 10.1089/pho.2008.2470

Tumilty, S., Munn, J., McDonough, S., Hurley, D. A., Basford, J. R., & Baxter, G. D. (2010). The dose that works: Low level laser treatment of tendinopathy. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1226(1), 170-178. doi: 10.1063/1.3453777

Tumilty, S., Munn, J., Abbott, J. H., McDonough, S., Hurley, D. A., Basford, J. R., & Baxter, G. D. (2010). Laser therapy in the treatment of achilles tendinopathy: A randomised controlled trial. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1226(1), 163-169. doi: 10.1063/1.3453776

Meyer, A., Tumilty, S., & Baxter, G. D. (2009). Eccentric exercise protocols for chronic non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy: How much is enough? Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 19(5), 609-615. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00981.x

Tumilty, S., Munn, J., Abbott, J. H., McDonough, S., Hurley, D. A., & Baxter, G. D. (2008). Laser therapy in the treatment of achilles tendinopathy: A pilot study. Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, & Laser Surgery, 26(1), 25-30. doi: 10.1089/pho.2007.2126

Tumilty, S. (2007). Achilles tendon rupture: Rising incidence in New Zealand follows international trends. Physical Therapy Reviews, 12, 59-65.

Hale, L. A., Schou, E., Piggot, J., Littmann, A., & Tumilty, S. (2003). The effect of a combined exercise programme for people with Multiple Sclerosis: a case series. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 31(3), 130-138.

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Journal - Research Other

Kovanur Sampath, K., Darlow, B., Tumilty, S., Shillito, W., Hanses, M., Devan, H., & Thomson, O. P. (2020). Barriers and facilitators experienced by osteopaths in implementing a biopsychosocial (BPS) framework of care when managing people with musculoskeletal pain: A mixed methods systematic review protocol. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 35, 41-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2020.01.001

Galiano-Castillo, N., Liu, L., Lozano-Lozano, M., Tumilty, S., Cantarero-Villanueva, I., & Baxter, G. D. (2020). Acute and cumulative benefits of photobiomodulation for xerostomia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Oral Diseases. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/odi.13648

Taylor, K., Baxter, G. D., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Clinical decision-making for shoulder surgery referral: An art or a science? [Brief report]. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jep.13473

Othman, R., Jayakaran, P., Swain, N., Dassanayake, S., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2020). Relationships between psychological, sleep, and physical activity measures and somatosensory function in people with peripheral joint pain: A systematic review and metaanalysis. Pain Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/papr.12943

Chen, Y., Huang, W., Liu, L., Tumilty, S., Liu, D., You, Y., … Baxter, G. D. (2020). Effectiveness and safety of traditional Chinese medicine Shaoyao Gancao Tang for the treatment of restless leg syndrome: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(40), e22401. doi: 10.1097/md.0000000000022401

Baxter, G. D., Chapple, C., Ellis, R., Hill, J., Liu, L., Mani, R., … Stokes, T., & Tumilty, S. (2020). Six things you need to know about low back pain. Journal of Primary Health Care, 12(3), 195-198. doi: 10.1071/HC19117

Wen, Q., Dong, X., Lan, L., Liu, L., Tumilty, S., Yan, B., … Feng, F. (2020). Traditional Chinese herbal bath therapy for insomnia: A protocol for systematic review. Medicine, 99(29), e21166. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000021166

Tan, H., Tumilty, S., Chapple, C., Liu, L., McDonough, S., Yin, H., … Baxter, G. D. (2019). Understanding acupoint sensitization: A narrative review on phenomena, potential mechanism, and clinical application. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2019, 6064358. doi: 10.1155/2019/6064358

Kovanur Sampath, K., Katare, R., & Tumilty, S. (2019). Stress axis and osteopathy: A dual hormone approach. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 33-34, 24-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijosm.2019.05.001

Sampath, K. K., Mani, R., Katare, R., Cotter, J., & Tumilty, S. (2019). Regarding: The acute effects of integrated myofascial techniques on lumbar paraspinal blood flow compared with kinesio-taping: A pilot study. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 23, 229-230. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2019.02.010

Alqarni, A. M., Manlapaz, D., Baxter, D., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2018). Test procedures to assess somatosensory abnormalities in individuals with back pain: A systematic review of psychometric properties. Physical Therapy Reviews, 23(3), 178-196. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2018.1479212

Alqarni, A., Manlapaz, D., Baxter, D., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2018). Test procedures to assess somatosensory abnormalities in individuals with neck pain: A systematic review of psychometric properties. Physical Therapy Reviews, 23(6), 301-316. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2018.1512737

Alqarni, A. M., Manlapaz, D., Baxter, D., Tumilty, S., & Mani, R. (2018). Test procedures to assess somatosensory abnormalities in individuals with peripheral joint pain: A systematic review of psychometric properties. Pain Practice, 18(7), 895-924. doi: 10.1111/papr.12680

Baxter, G. D., Liu, L., Petrich, S., Chapple, C., Anders, J. J., Tumilty, S., on behalf of the Laser Lymphedema Trial Team. (2018). Low level laser therapy in the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema: Protocol for a randomized controlled feasibility trial. Physical Therapy Reviews, 23(4-5), 291-297. doi: 10.1080/10833196.2018.1490101

Kovanur Sampath, K., Mani, R., Cotter, J., Gisselman, A. S., & Tumilty, S. (2017). Reply to letter to the Editor 'Changes in biochemical markers following spinal manipulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 30, e90. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.05.004

Baxter, G. D., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Treating chronic knee pain with acupuncture. JAMA, 313(6), 626-627. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.18511

Aoyagi, M., Mani, R., Jayamoorthy, J., & Tumilty, S. (2015). Response to the letter to the editor re: "Determining the level of evidence for the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in the upper limb: A systematic review meta-analysis". Manual Therapy, 20(6), e17. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.04.002

Tumilty, E., Walker, S., & Tumilty, S. (2014). Tainting by numbers: How the disadvantaged become invisible within evidence-based medicine. Physical Therapy Reviews, 19(5), 367-377. doi: 10.1179/1743288X14Y.0000000152

Mansi, S., Milosavljevic, S., Tumilty, S., Hendrick, P., & Baxter, G. D. (2013). Use of pedometer-driven walking to promote physical activity and improve health-related quality of life among meat processing workers: A feasibility trial. Health & Quality of Life Outcomes, 11, 185. doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-11-185

Tumilty, S. (2012). [Commentary on the article Electromagnetic therapy: Fact or fiction]. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 40(3), 112. [Commentary].

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