Post image for PE #022 Chronic low back pain with Dr Kieran O’Sullivan

PE #022 Chronic low back pain with Dr Kieran O’Sullivan

by David Pope

Dr Kieran O’Sullivan is back on the Physio Edge podcast after talking previously about hamstring injuries, this time discussing his other big area of interest and expertise – chronic low back pain (CLBP). In this episode, Kieran and David Pope discuss

  • Recent research on chronic low back pain
  • Central vs peripheral contributions to CLBP
  • Sitting postures and behaviours, and the relationship of this to pain
  • Is there an ideal sitting posture, and does changing sitting behaviour change CLBP?
  • Manual therapy in CLBP
  • Lumbar kyhposis/lordosis
  • Physical and psychological interventions for CLBP
  • The effect of exercise on CLBP
  • Movement patterns and retraining in chronic pain states
  • The challenges of talking to patients about chronic pain states

Enjoy this episode, brought to you by the podcast sponsor, Clinical Edge, and their fantastic face to face and online education. Get 20% off your first months Clinical Edge membership with the code “PHYSIOEDGE”.


Links of Interest

Show your love of feeling great, and also the podcast by writing a review on iTunes

Kieran O’Sullivan

Kieran on Twitter

Pain Education website with Peter O’Sullivan, Kieran O’Sullivan, Wim Dankaerts, Kjartan Vibe Fersum

University of Limerick

The role of muscle strength in hamstring injury. Kieran O Sullivan and Cian McGinley. 2010. Nova Publications

Clinical Edge

Tags: physiotherapy, low back pain, chronic, chronic low back pain, sitting, posture, movement, research, podcast, injuries, rehabilitation, physio edge, Kieran O’Sullivan, clinical edge


  • An interesting talk about management of chronic pain in chronic low back pain sufferers, particularly with patients who dwell on this condition and are prone to 'catastrophizing' as to what might be wrong. Disappointing that so little relevance placed upon 'finding the problem spinal level and working on it' and that manual therapy is used only 'to change belief system about their back'.

    • Michael Wynn

      Perhaps because the "finding the problem spinal level" approach is not well supported by evidence?

  • we can probably find enough information on manual therapy elsewhere and I found this approach very relevant and refreshing. I see too many patients that have been given a very negative view of their injury and are totally scared of their spine as they were told they have disc disease, the spine of a 50 year old at age 25 (my spine at 50 is doing very well, thank you) etc and dispelling those myths cannot be underestimated in our treatment. thank you Kieran

  • this approach is far beyond just looking for the biomechanical contribution to people's chronicity of pain. That's exactly what we need to learn to deal with the more complex pain patients. I have had a better understanding in Kieran's speech after I completed the postgraduate courses from Curtin University with the input from Peter O'Sullivan.
    Greatly presented with the strategies and insights in chronic cases! thank you, Kieran.

  • Kieran O’Sullivan

    Listening to this podcast while researching a Biomechanics assignment is a little surreal. 2nd year Physiotherapy student in Australia.

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