Dr Martin Spink

Dr Martin Spink

Lecturer

School of Health Sciences (Podiatry)

Career Summary

Biography

Dr. Martin Spink is a Lecturer in the discipline of Podiatry in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, and is based at the Central Coast campus at Ourimbah. Martin joined the University of Newcastle in 2012 and engages in research projects investigating the diabetic foot and musculoskeletal complications. He also currently teaches the Musculoskeletal, Geriatric and Podiatric Surgery courses.

   

Before joining the university Martin worked in private practice in Melbourne for five years. Prior to retraining as a podiatrist Martin spent 15 years working in a variety of roles in the IT industry in both the UK and Australia including computer programming, analysis and project management.

        

Research Expertise

Martin was awarded a PhD in 2012 from La Trobe University, Melbourne for his work involving the relationship of foot problems to falls and balance, and podiatry interventions to prevent falls. The primary focus was a randomised trial with over 300 participants entitled “Effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to prevent falls in community dwelling older people with disabling foot pain.” This trial was the first to establish that routine and inexpensive podiatry interventions could reduce falls in older people by 36%, and the findings were published in the British Medical Journal (Spink et al.2011).

  

Dr Martin Spink’s current research focus is on musculoskeletal problems in various populations and includes the following trials:

  • Investigating the efficacy of a stretching program in increasing ankle range of motion and decreasing plantar pressures in people with diabetes
  • Assessing the impact of orthotic intervention in people with chronic lower back pain
  • Establishing the prevalence of running injuries in recreational runners and factors predisposing to injury
  • Measuring the relationship of foot posture, muscle strength and plantar pressure and their possible effect as injury risk factors in the paediatric population

Teaching Expertise
Dr Martin Spink coordinates three podiatry courses: PDTY2203 Musculoskeletal and Sports Podiatry, PDTY3102 Podiatric Surgery and PDTY3203 Specialised Podiatry Practice. Martin’s roles as a lecturer, tutor and clinical supervisor allow him to work with students in both classroom and clinic settings to develop their competency as podiatrists. His courses highlight the latest evidence based diagnostic and treatment options for commonly seen podiatry presentations such as foot pain, sports injuries and falls prevention in the elderly. He encourages students to develop the critical review and analysis skills they will need to support their life-long learning as podiatrists.

  

Dr Martin Spink received a Faculty Teaching and Learning award (2016) for his work in the integration of innovative blended learning and case-based teaching strategies to engage and motivate students in the area of musculoskeletal Podiatry practice. This involved the development of an iPad based radiology teaching resource with interactive learning activities.

Collaborations
Dr Spink is a member of the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, La Trobe University
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of East Anglia - UK
  • Bachelor of Podiatry, La Trobe University
  • Bachelor of Podiatry (Hons), La Trobe University

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Falls and balance
  • Musculoskeletal assessment and rehabilitation
  • Podiatry

Languages

  • English (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
110308 Geriatrics and Gerontology 30
110318 Podiatry 70

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2017 Faculty of Health and Medicine Teaching and Learning award
University of Newcastle
2009 Australasian Podiatry Conference Best Poster Award for emerging researcher
University of Newcastle
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Publications

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


(27 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Searle A, Spink MJ, Ho A, Chuter VH, 'Association between ankle equinus and plantar pressures in people with diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis', Clinical Biomechanics, 43 8-14 (2017) [C1]

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Background Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world and is associated with a life-time risk of foot ulcer of 12¿25%. Diabetes related... [more]

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Background Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world and is associated with a life-time risk of foot ulcer of 12¿25%. Diabetes related restriction in ankle joint range of dorsiflexion is proposed to contribute to elevated plantar pressures implicated in the development of foot ulcers. Methods A systematic search of EBSCO Megafile Premier (containing MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTSdiscus and Academic Search Complete) and The Cochrane Library was conducted to 23rd November 2016. Two authors independently reviewed and selected relevant studies. Meta-analysis of study data were conducted where possible. Findings Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Three studies were eligible to be included in the meta-analysis which found that equinus has a significant, but small, effect on increased plantar pressures (ES¿=¿0.26, CI 95% 0.11 to 0.41, p¿=¿0.001). Of the remaining studies, eight found evidence of an association between limited ankle dorsiflexion and increased plantar pressures while four studies found no relationship. Interpretation Limited ankle joint dorsiflexion may be an important factor in elevating plantar pressures, independent of neuropathy. Limited ankle dorsiflexion and increased plantar pressures were found in all the studies where the sample population had a history of neuropathic foot ulceration. In contrast, the same association was not found in those studies where the population had neuropathy and no history of foot ulcer. Routine screening for limited ankle dorsiflexion range of motion in the diabetic population would allow for early provision of conservative treatment options to reduce plantar pressures and lessen ulcer risk.

DOI 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2017.01.021
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2017 Sadler SG, Spink M, Ho A, Janse De Jonge X, Chuter V, 'Restriction in lateral bending range of motion, lumbar lordosis, and hamstring flexibility predicts the development of low back pain: a systematic review of prospective cohort studies', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 18 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/s12891-017-1534-0
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter, Sean Sadler, X Jansedejonge
2017 Spink MJ, Searle A, Ho A, Chuter VH, 'Association between ankle equinus and plantar pressures in people with diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis', Association between ankle equinus and plantar pressures in people with diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysi (2017)
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2017 Spink MJ, Searle A, Chuter VH, 'Flip - flop footwear with a moulded foot - bed for the treatment of foot pain: a randomised controlled trial' (2017)
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2017 Chuter VH, Spink MJ, Searle A, Sadler SG, Ho A, 'A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of foot orthotic devices for the prevention and treatment of low back pain' (2017)
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2016 Chuter VH, Searle A, Spink MJ, 'Flip-flop footwear with a moulded foot-bed for the treatment of foot pain: a randomised controlled trial', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 17 1-8 (2016) [C1]

© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Foot pain is a common problem affecting up to 1 in 5 adults and is known to adversely affect activities of daily living and health related quali... [more]

© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Foot pain is a common problem affecting up to 1 in 5 adults and is known to adversely affect activities of daily living and health related quality of life. Orthopaedic footwear interventions are used as a conservative treatment for foot pain, although adherence is known to be low, in part due to the perception of poor comfort and unattractiveness of the footwear. The objective of this trial was to assess the efficacy of flip-flop style footwear (Foot Bio-Tec©) with a moulded foot-bed in reducing foot pain compared to participant's usual footwear. Methods: Two-arm parallel randomised controlled trial using computer generated random allocation schedule at an Australian university podiatry clinic. 108 volunteers with disabling foot pain were enrolled after responding to an advertisement and eligibility screening. Participants were randomly allocated to receive footwear education and moulded flip-flop footwear to wear as much as they were comfortable with for the next 12 weeks (n = 54) or footwear education and instructions to wear their normal footwear for the next 12 weeks (n = 54). Primary outcome was the pain domain of the Foot Health Status Questionnaire (FHSQ). Secondary outcomes were the foot function and general foot health domains of the FHSQ, a visual analogue scale (VAS) for foot pain and perceived comfort of the intervention footwear. Results: Compared to the control group, the moulded flip-flop group showed a significant improvement in the primary outcome measure of the FHSQ pain domain (adjusted mean difference 8.36 points, 95 % CI 5.58 to 13.27, p < 0.01). Statistical and clinically significant differences were observed for the secondary measure of foot pain assessed by a VAS and the FSHQ domains of foot function and general foot health. None of the participants reported any pain or discomfort from the intervention footwear and six (footwear group = 4) were lost to follow up. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that flip-flop footwear with a moulded foot-bed can have a significant effect on foot pain, function and foot health and might be a valuable adjunct therapy for people with foot pain.

DOI 10.1186/s12891-016-1327-x
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2016 Sadler SG, Spink M, Ho A, Janse De Jonge X, Chuter V, 'Musculoskeletal risk factors for the development of low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis' (2016)
Co-authors Sean Sadler, Vivienne Chuter, X Jansedejonge
2016 Chuter VH, Spink MJ, Searle A, Sadler SG, Ho A, ''A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of foot orthotic devices for the prevention and treatment of low back pain', POSTER' (2016)
Co-authors Sean Sadler, Vivienne Chuter
2015 Searle A, Spink M, Ho A, Chuter V, 'Exercise interventions for the treatment of chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials', Clinical Rehabilitation, 29 1155-1167 (2015) [C1]

© The Author(s) 2015. Objective: To determine, for adults with chronic low back pain, which exercise interventions are the most effective at reducing pain compared to other treat... [more]

© The Author(s) 2015. Objective: To determine, for adults with chronic low back pain, which exercise interventions are the most effective at reducing pain compared to other treatments. Data sources: A search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO and The Cochrane Library was conducted up to October 2014. Review methods: Databases were searched for published reports of randomised trials that investigated the treatment of chronic low back pain of non-specific origin with an exercise intervention. Two authors independently reviewed and selected relevant trials. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Downs and Black tool. Results: Forty-five trials met the inclusion criteria and thirty-nine were included in the meta-analysis. Combined meta-analysis revealed significantly lower chronic low back pain with intervention groups using exercise compared to a control group or other treatment group (Standard Mean Deviation (SMD) =-0.32, CI 95% -0.44 to -0.19, P < 0.01). Separate exploratory subgroup analysis showed a significant effect for strength/resistance and coordination/stabilisation programs. Conclusions: Our results found a beneficial effect for strength/resistance and coordination/stabilisation exercise programs over other interventions in the treatment of chronic low back pain and that cardiorespiratory and combined exercise programs are ineffective.

DOI 10.1177/0269215515570379
Citations Scopus - 34Web of Science - 28
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2015 Thompson B, Sadler S, Chuter V, Spink M, Janse de Jonge X, 'Are core stability exercises an effective treatment for nonspecific chronic low back pain? A systematic review with meta-analysis' (2015) [E3]
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2015.12.414
Co-authors Sean Sadler, Vivienne Chuter, X Jansedejonge
2015 Spink MJ, Chuter VH, Searle A, 'Flip-flop footwear with a moulded foot-bed for the treatment of foot pain: A randomised controlled trial' (2015) [E3]
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2015.12.437
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2014 Chuter V, Spink M, Searle A, Ho A, 'The effectiveness of shoe insoles for the prevention and treatment of low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15 1-8 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1471-2474-15-140
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2013 Menz HB, Spink MJ, Landorf KB, Hill KD, Lord SR, 'Older people's perceptions of a multifaceted podiatric medical intervention to prevent falls', Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 103 457-464 (2013) [C1]

Background: Falls are common in older people and are associated with substantial health-care costs. A recent randomized controlled trial of a multifaceted podiatric medical interv... [more]

Background: Falls are common in older people and are associated with substantial health-care costs. A recent randomized controlled trial of a multifaceted podiatric medical intervention demonstrated a 36% reduction in the fall rate over 12 months. We evaluated the acceptability of and levels of satisfaction with this intervention in the older people who participated in the trial. Methods: Participants allocated to the intervention group (which included a home-based program of foot and ankle exercises, assistance with the purchase of safe footwear when necessary, and provision of prefabricated foot orthoses) completed a structured questionnaire 6 months after they had received the intervention. The questions addressed participants' perceptions of their balance and foot and ankle strength, the perceived difficulty of the exercise program, and the degree of satisfaction with the footwear and orthoses provided. Results: Of 153 participants, 134 (87.6%) attended the 6-month follow-up assessment and completed the questionnaire. Most participants perceived improvements in balance (62.7%) and foot and ankle strength (74.6%) after 6 months of performing the exercises, and 86.6% considered the difficulty level of the exercises to be "about right." Most participants reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with the footwear (92.3%) and orthoses (81.6%) provided. Conclusions: The multifaceted podiatric medical intervention used in this trial was generally perceived to be beneficial and demonstrated high levels of satisfaction among participants. Further research is now required to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the intervention in a range of clinical practice settings.

Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2013 Landorf KB, Morrow A, Spink MJ, Nash CL, Novak A, Potter J, Menz HB, 'Effectiveness of scalpel debridement for painful plantar calluses in older people: a randomized trial', TRIALS, 14 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1745-6215-14-243
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9
2013 Smith J, Evans SM, Williams T, Leib D, Spink M, Chuter V, '3D printing: Customised functional anatomical models of the subtalar joint', ANZACA (Australia and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists) 2013 Conference (2013)
Co-authors Vivienne Chuter
2013 Lanting S, Craike P, Spink M, Casey S, Chuter V, 'The reliability of non-invasive neurological examinations in people with diabetes', Journal of Foot and Ankle Research (2013) [E3]
DOI 10.1186/1757-1146-6-S1-O6
Co-authors Sarah Casey, Vivienne Chuter, Peta Tehan
2012 Menz HB, Spink MJ, 'Visual categorisation of the arch index: a simplified measure of foot posture in older people', Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 5 1-10 (2012) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 17
2011 Spink MJ, Fotoohabadi MR, Wee E, Landorf KB, Hill KD, Lord SR, Menz HB, 'Predictors of adherence to a multifaceted podiatry intervention for the prevention of falls in older people', BMC Geriatrics, 11 51-51 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1471-2318-11-51
Citations Scopus - 6
2011 Spink MJ, 'Foot and Ankle Strength, Range of Motion, Posture, and Deformity Are Associated With Balance and Functional Ability in Older Adults', Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 92 68-75 (2011) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 40
2011 Spink MJ, 'Effectiveness of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to prevent falls in community dwelling older people with disabling foot pain: randomised controlled trial', BMJ: British Medical Journal, 342 d3411-d3411 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1136/bmj.d3411
Citations Scopus - 52
2011 Cronkwright DG, Spink MJ, Landorf KB, Menz HB, 'Evaluation of the pressure-redistributing properties of prefabricated foot orthoses in older people after at least 12 months of wear', Gait & Posture, 34 553-557 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.07.016
Citations Scopus - 5
2011 spink MJ, Fotoohabadi MR, Wee E, Landorf KB, Hill KD, Lord SR, Menz HB, 'Efficacy of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to improve balance and prevent falls in older people: a randomised trial' (2011)
2010 Spink MJ, 'Foot and ankle strength assessment using hand-held dynamometry: reliability and age-related differences', Gerontology, 56 525-532 (2010) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 38
2010 Menz HB, Fotoohabadi MR, Wee E, Spink MJ, 'Validity of self-assessment of hallux valgus using the Manchester scale', BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11 215-215 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1471-2474-11-215
Citations Scopus - 12
2010 spink MJ, Fotoohabadi MR, Wee E, Landorf KB, Hill KD, Lord SR, Menz HB, 'FOOT STRENGTH AND RANGE OF MOTION ASSOCIATED WITH BALANCE AND FUNCTION IN OLDER ADULTS' (2010)
2009 Spink MJ, Menz HB, Lord SR, 'Distribution and correlates of plantar hyperkeratotic lesions in older people', Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 2 8-8 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1757-1146-2-8
Citations Scopus - 17
2008 Spink MJ, Menz HB, Lord SR, 'Efficacy of a multifaceted podiatry intervention to improve balance and prevent falls in older people: study protocol for a randomised trial', BMC Geriatrics, 8 30-30 (2008) [C1]
DOI 10.1186/1471-2318-8-30
Citations Scopus - 14
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 7
Total funding $37,609

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


20171 grants / $9,948

Rate my risk: Vascular risk profiling for diabetic foot complications $9,948

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Associate Professor Viv Chuter, Doctor Martin Spink, Doctor Fiona Hawke, Doctor Peta Tehan
Scheme Ourimbah Strategic Pilot Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1701262
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20154 grants / $12,666

University of Newcastle Faculty of Health and Medicine Equipment Grant$6,946

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

Funding body The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team

Spink M

Scheme Faculty of Health and Medicine Equipment Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

School of Health Science Equipment Grant for Plantar Pressure Analysis equipment$2,970

Funding body: The University of Newcastle

Funding body The University of Newcastle
Project Team

Spink, M

Scheme School of Health Sciences Equipment Grant round
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N

The efficacy of a supervised and a home-based web supported core strengthening program in adults with chronic non-specific low back pain: a randomised controlled trial$2,000

Funding body: Sports Medicine Australia

Funding body Sports Medicine Australia
Project Team Doctor Xanne Janse De Jonge, Mrs Belinda Thompson, Associate Professor Viv Chuter, Doctor Martin Spink
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1401385
Type Of Funding Grant - Aust Non Government
Category 3AFG
UON Y

Sports Medicine Australia Conference, Hope Island Australia, 21-24 October 2015$750

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

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine
Project Team Doctor Martin Spink
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500989
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20131 grants / $4,995

Evaluation of the pressure-redistributing properties of prefabricated foot orthoses in younger adults after at least 12 months wear$4,995

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Martin Spink
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300066
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20121 grants / $10,000

Evaluation of student learning and engagement utilising interactive eLearning Anatomy Imaging Resources and 3-D Academic Technologies$10,000

Funding body: The University of Newcastle, Australia

Funding body The University of Newcastle, Australia
Project Team

Smith J, Chuter C, Spink M, Evans S

Scheme Centre for Teaching and learning
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2013
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed3
Current4

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.9

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 Honours The relationship of muscle strength to foot posture in children Physiotherapy, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2015 Honours Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses in the redistribution of plantar pressures in patients with diabetes Podiatry, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2014 PhD A randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of foot orthotic devices for the treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain PhD (Podiatry), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2014 PhD The effectiveness of a stretching intervention in lowering plantar pressures related to reduced ankle range of motion in people with diabetes. PhD (Podiatry), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2014 Honours The Relationship Between Foot Posture and Muscle Strength in Children Podiatry, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2013 Honours Relationship between foot posture and plantar pressure in children Podiatry, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
2013 Honours The reliability of non-invasive methods of assessing vibration perception of the foot Podiatry, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor
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Dr Martin Spink

Position

Lecturer
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Podiatry

Contact Details

Email martin.spink@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4349 4418
Fax (02) 4921 6984

Office

Room BE 122
Building Ourimbah campus BE
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