Dr Lucy Thomas

Conjoint Lecturer

School of Health Sciences (Physiotherapy)

Career Summary

Biography

Lucy Thomas qualified as a physiotherapist in the UK. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Physiotherapy at The University of Sydney and a Masters of Medical Science from the University of Newcastle. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Newcastle in 2013 with a thesis entitled 'Minimising Risk factors for Cervical spine manipulation' under the supervision of Professor Chris Levi and Professor Darren Rivett.  Her current research is investigating craniocervical dissection and the safety of manual therapy in the cervical spine. Lucy is a lecturer in musculoskeletal physiotherapy at the University of Queensland and a conjoint lecturer at the University of Newcastle. She also works as a consultant in private practice in Newcastle. Dr Thomas's has a particular interest in the differentail diagnosis and treatment of neck pain, headache and dizziness. She has presented in the area of craniocervical arterial dissection at national and international conferences and has published in this area.

Research Expertise
Current research study includes: Assessment of patients with craniocervical arterial dissection Assessment of craniocervical arterial blood flow using magnetic resonance imaging



Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Medical Science, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • cervical spine
  • craniocervical arterial dissection
  • dizziness
  • musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • neck pain
  • pre-manipulative screening
  • vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified 35
110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified 65

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2009 - 31/12/2011 Membership - NSW Branch Committee, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia NSW Branch Committee, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia
Australia
1/01/2003 - 31/12/2006 Membership - Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia (NSW Branch) committee Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia (NSW Branch) committee
Australia
1/01/1986 -  Membership - Musculoskeletal physiotherapy Australia Musculoskeletal physiotherapy Australia
Australia

Awards

Research Award

Year Award
2012 Thomas, L., Rivett, D. & Bolton, P. (2003). Changes in vertebral artery blood flow during neck rotat
Unknown
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (14 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Thomas LC, 'Cervical arterial dissection: An overview and implications for manipulative therapy practice', Manual Therapy, 21 2-9 (2016)

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Introduction: Cervical arterial dissection (CAD) is a common cause of stroke in young people under 55 years. It can occur spontaneously or subsequent to minor... [more]

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.Introduction: Cervical arterial dissection (CAD) is a common cause of stroke in young people under 55 years. It can occur spontaneously or subsequent to minor trauma or infection. The incidence is difficult to determine accurately as not all CAD progress to stroke. CAD is the most catastrophic adverse event associated with cervical manipulative therapy but it is rare. Early features of CAD can mimic a painful musculoskeletal presentation and a patient may present for treatment of neck pain and headache with a dissection in progress. Whether the manipulative technique is responsible for dissection or whether the diagnosis of CAD has been missed is unclear. Identification of individuals at risk, or early recognition of CAD could help expedite medical intervention and avoid inappropriate treatment. Purpose: The aims of this masterclass are to outline current research into the pathophysiology, aetiology and clinical presentation of CAD, to place the risk in context in a manipulative therapy setting and to discuss its possible clinical recognition. Implications: For those patients presenting with recent onset, moderate to severe unusual headache or neck pain, clinicians should perform a careful history, in particular questioning about recent exposure to head/neck trauma or neck strain. Cardiovascular factors may not be particularly useful indicators of risk of dissection. Clinicians should also be alert to reports of transient neurological dysfunction such as visual disturbance and balance deficits, arm paraesthesia and speech deficits, as these may be subtle. If clinicians suspect arterial dissection is in progress patients should be urgently referred for medical evaluation.

DOI 10.1016/j.math.2015.07.008
2015 Thomas L, McLeod L, Osmotherly PG, Rivett DA, 'The effect of end-range cervical rotation on vertebral and internal carotid arterial blood flow and cerebral inflow: A sub analysis of an MRI study', Manual Therapy, 20 475-480 (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2014.11.012
Co-authors Peter Osmotherly, Darren Rivett
2015 Thomas LC, Rivett DA, Attia JR, Levi C, 'Risk factors and clinical presentation of cervical arterial dissection: Preliminary results of a prospective case-control study', Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 45 503-511 (2015) [C1]

Copyright ©2015 Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy®. All rights reserved.STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional case-control study. OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors and... [more]

Copyright ©2015 Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy®. All rights reserved.STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional case-control study. OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors and clinical presentation of individuals with cervical arterial dissection. BACKGROUND: Cervical arterial dissection is a common cause of stroke in young people and has in rare cases been associated with cervical manipulative therapy. The mechanism is considered to involve pre-existing arterial susceptibility and a precipitating event, such as minor trauma. Identification of individuals at risk or early recognition of a dissection in progress could help expedite medical intervention and avoid inappropriate treatment. METHODS: Participants were individuals 55 years of age or younger from the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia with radiologically confirmed vertebral or internal carotid artery dissection and an age- and sex-matched comparison group. Participants were interviewed about risk factors, preceding events, and clinical features of their stroke. Physical examination of joint mobility and soft tissue compliance was undertaken. RESULTS: Twenty-four participants with cervical arterial dissection and 21 matched comparisons with ischemic stroke but not dissection were included in the study. Seventeen (71%) of the 24 participants with dissection reported a recent history of minor mechanical neck trauma or strain, with 4 of these 17 reporting recent neck manipulative therapy treatment. Cardiovascular risk factors were uncommon, with the exception of diagnosed migraine. Among the participants with dissection, 67% reported transient ischemic features in the month prior to their admission for dissection. CONCLUSION: Recent minor mechanical trauma or strain to the head or neck appears to be associated with cervical arterial dissection. General cardiovascular risk factors, with the exception of migraine, were not important risk factors for dissection in this cohort. Preceding transient neurological symptoms appear to occur commonly and may assist in the identification of this serious pathology.

DOI 10.2519/jospt.2015.5877
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Chris Levi, John Attia, Darren Rivett
2014 Thomas LC, Rivett DA, Parsons M, Levi C, 'Risk factors, radiological features, and infarct topography of craniocervical arterial dissection.', International Journal of Stroke, 9 1073-1082 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00912.x
Co-authors Chris Levi, Mark Parsons, Darren Rivett
2013 Thomas LC, Rivett DA, Bateman G, Stanwell P, Levi CR, 'Effect of Selected Manual Therapy Interventions for Mechanical Neck Pain on Vertebral and Internal Carotid Arterial Blood Flow and Cerebral Inflow', PHYSICAL THERAPY, 93 1563-1574 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.2522/ptj.20120477
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Chris Levi, Peter Stanwell, Darren Rivett
2012 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Parsons M, Levi C, 'Risk factors, radiological features and infarct topography of craniocervical arterial dissection.', International Journal of Stroke, 9 1073-1082 (2012)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2012.00912.x
Co-authors Darren Rivett
2012 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Attia JR, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical presentation of craniocervical arterial dissection: A prospective study', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 13 1-6 (2012) [C3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, John Attia, Chris Levi
2011 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Attia JR, Parsons MW, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical features of craniocervical arterial dissection', Manual Therapy, 16 351-356 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2010.12.008
Citations Scopus - 24Web of Science - 18
Co-authors Mark Parsons, Chris Levi, John Attia, Darren Rivett
2009 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Validity of the Doppler velocimeter in examination of vertebral artery blood flow and its use in pre-manipulative screening of the neck', Manual Therapy, 14 544-549 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2008.08.007
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Philip Bolton
2009 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Comments in response to letter to the editor', Manual Therapy, 14 E7-E8 (2009) [C3]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2009.04.005
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Philip Bolton
2009 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Comments in response to letter to the editor by Karl et al. Manual Therapy 2009;14(6):e17', Manual Therapy, 14 E18 (2009) [C3]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2009.07.006
Co-authors Philip Bolton, Darren Rivett
2008 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Pre-manipulative testing and the use of the velocimeter', Manual Therapy, 13 29-36 (2008) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2006.11.003
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Philip Bolton, Darren Rivett
2008 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Comments in response to letters to editor regarding article: Thomas LC, et al. Premanipulative testing and the velocimeter. Manual Therapy (2007)', Manual Therapy, 13 E5-E6 (2008) [C3]
DOI 10.1016/j.math.2007.09.010
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Philip Bolton, Darren Rivett
2005 Rivett DA, Thomas L, Bolton PS, 'Pre-manipulative testing: where do we go from here?', New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 33 78-84 (2005) [C1]
Co-authors Philip Bolton, Darren Rivett
Show 11 more journal articles

Conference (14 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi C, 'The effect of selected manual therapy interventions for mechanical neck pain on vertebral and internal carotid arterial blood flow and cerebral inflow', APA 2013 Conference Abstracts eBook (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Chris Levi, Darren Rivett
2013 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi C, Stanwell P, Levi C, 'Recognition of patients presenting with or at risk of craniocervical arterial dissection: preliminary results of a prospective study', APA Conference 2013 Abstract E-Book (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Chris Levi
2012 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical features of craniocervical arterial dissection. Preliminary results of a prospective study', Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Chris Levi
2012 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'The effect of selected manual therapy interventions for mechanical neck pain on vertebral and internal carotid arterial blood flow and total cerebral perfusion', Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Chris Levi
2012 Thomas LH, Rivett DA, Parsons MW, Levi CR, 'Radiological features of craniocervical arterial dissection and topography of the resultant infarct: Relation with risk factors', International Journal of Stroke (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Mark Parsons, Chris Levi, Darren Rivett
2011 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical presentation of craniocervical arterial dissection. A prospective study: Preliminary results', Physiotherapy: Abstracts, World Physical Therapy 2011 (2011) [E3]
Citations Scopus - 11Web of Science - 8
Co-authors John Attia, Chris Levi, Darren Rivett
2011 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical presentation of craniocervical arterial dissection: Preliminary results of a prospective study', APA Physiotherapy Conference 2011 (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Chris Levi
2009 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'Risk factors and clinical features associated with craniocervical arterial dissection', APA Conference Week Abstracts (2009) [E3]
Co-authors Chris Levi, Darren Rivett
2009 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Levi CR, 'Factors affecting the safety of cervical manipulation', Manual Therapy (2009) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Chris Levi
2008 Thomas L, Levi C, Rivett DA, 'Risk factors and natural history of craniocervical arterial dissection. Interactive poster presented.', 9th International Conference of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT) Absracts CD. (2008) [E3]
Co-authors Chris Levi, Darren Rivett
2008 Thomas L, Bolton P, Rivett DA, 'Validity of the Doppler velocimeter for pre-manipulative screening of vertebral artery blood flow.', 9th International Conference of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT) Abstracts CD. (2008)
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Philip Bolton
2008 Thomas L, 'Validity of the Doppler velocimeter for pre-manipulative screening of vertebral artery blood flow', IFOMT 2008 Connecting Science to Quality of Life. Abstracts (2008) [E3]
2005 Bolton PS, Thomas LC, Rivett DA, 'Validity and reliability of the doppler velocimeter for pre-manipulative screening of vertebral artery blood flow', Proceedings 14th Biennial Conference Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia. (2005) [E3]
Co-authors Philip Bolton, Darren Rivett
2003 Thomas L, Rivett DA, Bolton PS, 'Changes in Vertebral Artery Blood Flow During Neck Rotation', Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia 13th Biennial Conference (2003) [E3]
Co-authors Darren Rivett, Philip Bolton
Show 11 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 4
Total funding $28,055

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20141 grants / $19,865

Seasonal variation in cervical arterial dissection$19,865

Funding body: National Stroke Foundation

Funding body National Stroke Foundation
Project Team Doctor Lucy Thomas, Conjoint Professor Chris Levi, Professor Darren Rivett
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1301126
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

20121 grants / $1,500

International Federation of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists 2012: Rendez-vous of Hands and Minds, Quebec City, Canada, 30 Sept - 5 Oct 2012$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Lucy Thomas
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200583
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20091 grants / $4,990

Factors affecting the safety of cervical manipulation$4,990

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Lucy Thomas
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2009
Funding Finish 2009
GNo G0190274
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20081 grants / $1,700

IFOMT 2008 Connecting Science to Quality of Life$1,700

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Lucy Thomas
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0188951
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current1

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.05

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2016 Masters The Effect of Retraction Movements of the Cervical Spine on Persistent Head Pain of Cervicogenic Origin
M Philosophy (Physiotherapy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
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Dr Lucy Thomas

Position

Conjoint Lecturer
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Physiotherapy

Contact Details

Email lucy.thomas@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 8680

Office

Room HE24
Building Hunter
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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