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Dr Rebecca Hemming

Dr Rebecca Hemming

Senior Lecturer: Physiotherapy

School of Healthcare Sciences

+44 (0)29 206 88599
13.20, Eastgate House, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Available for postgraduate supervision


Research Interests

  • The main focus of my research is to investigate spinal pain and dysfunction during functional movement. This includes: neuromuscular control, muscle imbalance, disc degeneration, vertebral osteoarthritis, motor control dysfunction and biomechanics to better understand underlying mechanisms of pain and to inform effective rehabilitation and prevention strategies.
  • Our research group focuses on delivering effective treatments for specific subgroups of people with low back pain using targeted, biomechanically based interventions.
  • My current projects are establishing spinal fluoroscopy protocols to image dynamic spinal motion (working collaboratively with Prof. Alan Breen and his team at the AECC University College, Bournemouth) and the School of Engineering, Cardiff University.
  • I am also involved in research exploring the impact of physical activity and community-based activities (such as walking groups and exercise classes) for homeless and vulnerably-housed adults.


Chair Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPI&E) Committee

Committee Member of DISCS (Discovering Innovative Solutions for Conditions of the Spine)

Executive Committee Member for CITER (Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair)



    2016 PhD (Healthcare Sciences), Cardiff University

    2016 Postgraduate Certificate in University Teaching and Learning (Modules 1, 2 and 3 – 40 Credits)

    2008 BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, Cardiff University


    2020-present: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

    2013-2020: Lecturer, Cardiff University

    2010-2013: Physiotherapist (Private physiotherapy clinic, Cardiff)

    2008-2011: Physiotherapist, Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board

    Professional memberships

    • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
    • Health and Care Professionals Council
    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
    • Society for Back Pain Research











    Teaching - I am module lead for HC3118 Research 2 and co-lead for HC2218 Reseach 1 for the BSc Physiotherapy Programme. My primary teaching involves teaching research methods, statistics, ethics, biomechanics and manual handling at BSc level. At MSc level I teach clinical kinesiology and research methods.

    Project Supervision - I supervise BSc and MSc projects with a special focus on posture and low back pain evaluated using kinematic techniques and electromyography. I supervise a number of MSc empirical research and systematic review projects. I currently supervise three PhD students covering mixed methods and qualitative methodologies in the fields of physical activity and chronic pain conditions.

    Research interests

    My main area of research is evaluating the biomechanics of functional movement in people with non-specific chronic low back pain. My PhD study, 'Regional Spinal Kinematics and Muscle Activity in Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain (NSCLBP) during Functional Tasks’ identified specific biomechanical differences in movement behaviours in subgroups of NSCLBP individuals, which is important for informing the development of targeted interventions. My work explores the biomechanics of chronic musculoskeletal conditions to better understand underlying mechanisms of pain, to inform effective rehabilitation and prevention strategies. Currently I am exploring the application of fluoroscopy as a tool for understanding functional movement of the spine in chronic low back pain.

    I am a member of the Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre, the Cardiff Institute of Tissue engineering and Repair (CITER), DISCS (Discovering Innovative Solutions for Conditions of the Spine) ( and the Society for Back Pain Research.


    I am a physiotherapist and have expertise primarily in quantitative methods particularly in biomechanics and low back pain.  I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

    • Low back pain
    • Subclassification approaches
    • Functional spinal movement
    • Trunk kinematics and muscle activity
    • Motor Control
    • Chronic Musculoskeletal disorders
    • Physical activity and exercise
    • Functional imaging
    • Development of targeted interventions for musculoskeletal disorders

    Current supervision

    Fahda Alshiakh

    Research student

    Mohammad Mandani

    Research student

    Moayad Subahi

    Research student

    Past projects

    Co-Supervisor (33%) for Moayad Subahi (commenced Oct 2016) - Physical Fitness, Physical Inactivity, and Physical Therapy Management of Knee Osteoarthritis in Saudi Arabia (in progress)

    Co-Supervisor (33%) for Fahda Alshiakh (commenced Oct 2018) - Women’s health physiotherapy practice in Saudi Arabia: the coordination between physiotherapists, obstetricians and gynaecologists (in progress)

    Co-Supervisor (50%) for Mohammad Mandani (commenced Oct 2018) - Prognostic indicators of successful rehabilitation outcome in patients with non-specific chronic low back pain (in progress)