NARRATIVE REVIEW: Multiple interfacing structures, physiologies and pathobiologies of the lumbar spine

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Presenter: Ross Partington

This narrative review will discuss the following:

“With increasing life expectancy, though not years of good health, our aging baby-boomer clinical populations are presenting stages of MSK degeneration not previously seen, particularly in the lower spine. Paralleling this phenomenon, multidisciplinary researchers are calling for standardisation in the classifications, gradings, and guidelines for management of spinal conditions and a consensus in the subsets, so as to allow clinicians a more informed and precise understanding of pathogenesis, risk factors, diagnosis and management planning. Understanding the cross-talk between the multiple structural, functional and pathobiological interfaces of the vertebral unit and adjacent muscles is also central to this.”

About Ross:

Ross has been in osteopathic practice for 46 years. He also holds qualifications in Naturopathy and Nutrition. Throughout his career he has held numerous educational and committee posts in all three professions.

He was on Steering Groups for the registration of Osteopaths in 1976-77 and for the formation of a separate Act and Registration Board for Osteopaths in 1997-2002. He was Chairman of the Post-Graduate Committee, NSW and Queensland, to develop programs for preparing practitioners for Registration Examinations.

He has been a Trainer for WorkCover NSW, a Peer Reviewer for the Health Care Complaints Commission, a member of the AOA (now, Osteopathy Australia) Education Advisory Committee, a member of the Internal and External Advisory Committee for the Osteopathic program at the University of Western Sydney and a lecturer in Dance Injury and Prevention. He has been a Clinical Practicum Examiner at the University of Western Sydney and RMIT University.

He has been a presenter on Cervical Spine and Low Back Panels at General Practitioners' Conferences and Exhibitions.

A strong advocate for the incorporation of nutritional differentiation and management in Osteopathic practice, he lobbied for, and devised, a Nutrition module to be included in the Osteopathic Masters program at UWS, and taught this following its inception. He has published papers in the Ostium on Extraintestinal MSK conditions.

He has focused throughout his career on the treatment, education and prevention of dance and performing arts injuries. He has been an advocate for the incorporation of body science courses in the training of dancers and developed for VETAB a Body Science for Dancers syllabus. He has taught this in dance and performing arts courses for 40 years. On International Dance Day in 1991 he received an Honours Award for Valuable Services to Dance.

Over the past 40 years he has treated the injuries of most dance companies, dance schools and musical theatre productions. He has been the osteopath to the Sydney Dance Company and has toured extensively internationally and nationally in that capacity. He has been consulted by musical theatre companies regarding injury management and prevention and anthropometrics pertaining to costume, sets, props and footwear design. His paper on balletic turnout issues was accepted for presentation at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Conference in 2018.

With colleague Raymond Blaich he completed a 4-year dissection photographic project of lumbar spine anatomy. Their study of lumbar zygapophysial joint inclusions was presented to the Combined Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists and the Australasian Institute of Anatomical Sciences and to the Australian Osteopathic Association Conference. In 2019 he presented at the Sydney Spinal Symposium.

He is a member of Osteopathy Australia, The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

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