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Kesava Sampath

Thesis title:

Thoracic spinal manipulation and short-term changes in the activities of (1) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis (i.e. HPA-HPG axis) and (2) the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
Is that a potential viable treatment option for people with chronic pain?

Area of study

  • Manual therapy
  • Spinal Manipulation
  • Stress systems
  • Chronic pain


  • Dr Steve Tumilty, Associate Dean, Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago.
  • Dr Ramakrishnan Mani, Lecturer, Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago.
  • Dr Jim Cotter, Associate Professor, School of Physical Education, University of Otago.

Education background

2005 - 2008 – Masters of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland.
1998 - 2003 – Bachelors of Physiotherapy, Dr. M.G.R medical university, India.


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

Sampath, K.K, Botnmark E., Mani, R., Cotter, J.D., Katare R., Munasinghe P.E., and Tumilty, S. (2017). Neuro-endocrine Response Following a Thoracic Spinal Manipulation in Healthy Men. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. Accepted Manuscript.

Sampath, K.K, Mani, R., Cotter, J.D. and Tumilty, S. (2015) Measurable changes in the neuro-endocrinal mechanism following spinal manipulation. Medical Hypotheses. 85

Sampath, K.K., Mani, R., Miyamori, T. and Tumilty, S. (2015) The effects of manual therapy or exercise therapy or both in people with hip osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clincial Rehabilitation

Sampath KK, Mani R, Tumilty S (2013). Effectiveness of manual therapy (MT) or exercise therapy (ET) or both on pain, physical function and quality of life in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA): A systematic review and meta-analysis (protocol), PROPSERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews.


2011 - Postgraduate Fees Scholarship, Department of Health Science, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
2006 - Postgraduate study award winner, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.

Why did you choose the School of Physiotherapy:

The School of Physiotherapy at Otago University has been globally renowned for its high quality research. So, the choice was straightforward and easy.

Best things so far about your study:

Life for me is all about people and values, the PhD journey is no different. Working in a positive environment with a very friendly and encouraging supervisory team has been one of the best things so far in my journey at Otago. To be able to see the physiological and anatomical connection between the various stress responsive systems and how these can be influenced by spinal manipulation has been fascinating. I’m sure I would be able to add more in this section as my journey progresses.