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Professor Valerie Sparkes

Professor Valerie Sparkes

Interim Professional Head: Physiotherapy / Director: Biomechanics and Bioengineering Research Centre Versus Arthritis

School of Healthcare Sciences

Email
sparkesv@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 206 87560
Campuses
Room 13.06, Eastgate House, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Other Roles

Director,  Biomechanics and Bioengineering Research Centre Versus Arthritis

Interim Professional Head of Physiotherapy

Honorary Secretary for the  Society of Back Pain Research

Research Interests

Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders
The main focus of my research is developing physiotherapeutic interventions for musculoskeletal disorders 
  • Self management approaches to rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Our research group  focuses on delivering targetted treatments for people with musculoskeletal disorders using technology based and  functional interventions.
  • I have a passion for inspiring young people to enagage in science and  the health professions.
  • I am  STEM abassador and I work with the Nuffield  Foundation providing Nuffiled Research Placements

Biography

Clinical Work Experience

Prior to working at Cardiff University, I spent 18 years in clinical setting specialising in musculoskeletal out-patient physiotherapy including sports injuries. I worked in the NHS at Addenbrooke's NHS Trust, Cambridge and Private Practice in Cambridge. In my last post I worked in the Rheumatology Clinics as an Extended Scope practitioner triaging patients with spinal pain.

My academic work  whilst at Addenbrookes Hospital included projects on differential diagnosis of abdominal pain, working with Professor John Hunter, auditing of the management of Spinal Pain within out-patients and research into the effects of different exercise programmes on outcomes following spinal surgery.

I review papers for numerous journals and  funding bodies.

Professional memberships

I am a registerd on the  Health and Care Professions Council. I am  a member of  the Chartered  Society of Physiotherapy,The Manipulation Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, British Orthopaedic Research Society, The Society of Back Pain Research the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER).

Publications

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Teaching

My teaching focus is on pathological changes in musculoskeletal tissues and research methods. Within the sports modules I teach clinical reasoning related to the  assessment and treatment of sports/musculoskeletal disorders.

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I work with a multidisciplinary team within the Biomechanics and Bioengineering  Research Centre Versus Arthritis  investigating the causes  and management of musculoskeletal related disorders in particular spinal and knee pain. My main focus is developing targetted treatments and developing interventions for spinal disorders.

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/biomechanics-bioengineering-research-centre-versus-arthritis

I am a member of the Planetary Health Cardiff University Research Network

I am a member of  Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER) which encourages multidisciplinary research

I am Honorary Secretary of the Society of Back Pain Research

Supervision

I have a large porfolio of PhD students working in the areas of self management for Musculoskeletal disorders.

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