What is research going to do for my Low Back Pain?

What is research going to do for my Low Back Pain?

Jon Ford

To answer simply - a lot! At Advance Healthcare we pride ourselves on our evidence-based approach to our clients’ care. We are passionate advocates for evidence-based practice. We are widely involved in research projects and many of our therapists are PhD graduates and published research authors.

 In relation to your low back pain, the Advance Healthcare team, with the clinical director Dr Jon Ford as the research lead, published a landmark study called the STOPs trial in the internationally respected British Medical Journal in 2015.

 This study involved 300 patients at 16 different physiotherapy practices. The trial was a randomised controlled trial which means patients are randomly assigned mitigating risks such as bias or luck from the results.

 The team looked at the effect of two physiotherapy approaches for the management of low back pain lasting over 6 weeks - two sessions of guideline-based advice with a 10 week individualised physiotherapy program and two sessions of physiotherapy guideline-based advice without individualised physiotherapy.

 What was the outcome?

The group that received individualised physiotherapy had superior results to those who received advice alone. The individualised physiotherapy group had better function at one-year review and those that had leg pain had better outcomes at 6 months follow up.

 How did this change Advance Healthcare’s approach?

This overwhelmingly positive outcome reaffirmed our current practice. When choosing Advance Healthcare, you can be reassured you are getting an individualised assessment and treatment approach that will not only improve your low back pain in the short term, but it offers long term improvements. Our team keeps up to date with all evidence-based treatments and we are constantly reviewing and modifying our treatment approaches to ensure you receive the highest quality care.

 We focus considerably on a detailed and accurate assessment. This may feel like a lot of paperwork for your initial visit but be assured that there is a validated method to our ways! By ensuring we have accurately assessed your symptoms, it means you are on the correct rehabilitation road from the beginning.

 Your physiotherapy treatment is individually tailored for your needs and will be measured with a range of outcome measures ensuring improvements are made.

 Please contact us to learn more about Advance Healthcare and treatments we provide.


In the early 90s whilst lecturing at The University of Melbourne Jon began developing evidence-based treatment models for people with back pain.  He subsequently established Spinal Management Clinics (part of the LifeCare group) which became one of the leading providers of physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary pain management programs in Australia.  In 2014 to enable a greater focus on improving clinical quality and research, Jon with the practitioners below, purchased and rebranded the clinics as Advance Healthcare.  Jon continues his academic work as the Discipline Lead of Physiotherapy at La Trobe University, as well as leading the Low Back Pain Research Team.  

Jon's clinical and research interest is the diagnosis and treatment of difficult and/or persistent low back pain.  He is also the Team Leader of the Boronia multi-disciplinary Pain Management program.