Researcher

Dr Matthew David Jones

My Expertise

I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, an allied health professional that specialises in the design, delivery and evaluation of safe and effective exercise interventions for people with acute, sub-acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities. My research focuses on the role of exercise for chronic pain and chronic fatigue, two closely related sensations which, when persistent, can have debilitating effects of a person's quality of life. I am particularly interested in low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome (including post-cancer fatigue). I use quantitative and qualitative methodologies to design, develop and deliver effective interventions to reduce the burden of chronic pain and fatigue. Underpinning all my research is a commitment to Open Science principles. 

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Exercise physiology, Allied health and rehabilitation science, Sports science and exercise

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Biography

I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health. I was awarded my PhD from UNSW Sydney in 2017. My clinical, research and teaching expertise concern the role of exercise for the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

 

Through my research, I aim to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people with low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue...view more

I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health. I was awarded my PhD from UNSW Sydney in 2017. My clinical, research and teaching expertise concern the role of exercise for the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

 

Through my research, I aim to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people with low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and post-cancer fatigue. Underpinning my research is a commitment to Open Science principles to improve research transparency and openness and a strong desire to improve the methodological rigor of research in my field.

 

I lead several research groups that aim investigate:

  • exercise-induced hypoalgesia - the phenomenon through which a single session of exercise reduces pain
  • ways to optimise exercise and education interventions for people with chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • exercise physiologists' management of pain and fatigue, and ways to improve this 
  • ways to improve transparent and open research practices in the field of sports and exercise medicine

 


My Grants

  • 2021: Identifying barriers and enablers to exercise adhere in people with chronic low back pain (School of Health Sciences Networking Seed Grant, $9,726).
  • 2021: Creaky knees and exercise beliefs and participation: A mixed methods study (Arthritis Australia Project Grant, $15,000)
  • 2018: An integrated model in improving frailty (SPHERE Age and Ageing CAG Seed Funding, $100,000)
  • 2018: Investigating the association between fatigue and pain, and the factors that influence them, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (Mason Foundation, $98,000)
  • 2018: What are Exercise Physiologists saying? – Developing targeted pain neuroscience education to improve exercise outcomes for knee osteoarthritis (ESSA Tom Penrose Grant, $6,000)

My Qualifications

  • PhD (Physiology & Pharmacology), UNSW Sydney, Australia
  • MSc (Research), UNSW Sydney, Australia
  • BExPhys, UNSW Sydney, Australia
  • Accredited Exercise Physiologist (2011 - present)

My Awards

  • 2021: School of Health Sciences Award for Early Career Educator of the Year

  • 2021: School of Health Sciences Award for Early Career Researcher of the Year

  • 2020: Faculty of Medicine Education Award for Excellence in Innovation (Team - Exercise Physiology Practicum)

  • 2020: Faculty of Medicine Education Award for Excellence in Innovation (Team - UNSW Lifestyle Clinic Exercise Physiologists)

  • 2020: School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine New Research of the Year


My Research Activities

I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and investigate the role of exercise for the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Pain and fatigue are closely related sensations which, when persistent, have debilitating effects on health and quality of life. More specifically, my research focuses on the role of exercise for improving outcomes for people with low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and post-cancer fatigue, as well as improving the way Exercise Physiologists manage people with these conditions.

 

I lead a research group that seeks to better understand how a single bout of exercise affects pain and how this can be modified to enhance the pain-relieving effect of exercise. I contribute to other research groups that use experimental, clinical and translational methods to develop and test new interventions to manage chronic pain and chronic fatigue. My research also seeks to understand gaps in Exercise Physiologists' delivery of guideline care for people with chronic pain and fatigue, and designing and evaluating ways to address this. 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

My area of specialty is understanding how exercise can be used to improve outcomes for people with chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Through experimental, clinical and translational methods, my research seeks to optimise the delivery of exercise interventions, including enhancing understanding of how they work, to improve their effectiveness. I provide supervision at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including students completing research internships as part of their final year of the BExPhys, Honours candidates, and postgraduate research candidates (MSc or PhD). 

 


Currently supervising

  • Mr Michael Wewege, PhD candidate - Improving the use of analgesic medicines for low back pain
  • Mr Adrian Ram, PhD candidate - What are Exercise Physiologists saying? Developing targeted pain neuroscience education to improve exercise outcomes for knee osteoarthritis
  • Ms Kelly McLeod, PhD candidate - EXCITE: Exercise to decrease Cardio-Metabolic Disease Risk
  • Mr Harrison Hansford, PhD candidate - The generalisability and transportability of musculoskeletal research
  • Mr Alexander Kovats, MSc candidate - My knees are creaky: have I got arthritis? An exercise and education intervention to support self-management of knee joint symptoms
  • Mr Grant Holmes, MSc candidate - Effects of concurrent training program structure on performance and body composition markers in young untrained females
  • Mr Yannick Gilanyi, Honours candidate - Examining the barriers and enablers to exercise in people with chronic low back pain
  • Ms Brishna Shah: Effectiveness of analgesic medicines for low back pain: A component network meta-analysis

 


My Engagement

Media

  • Jones, MD (December 17, 2020). Specialised exercise could be key to reducing chronic back pain. ABC News Radio Live. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/radio/newsradio/specialised-exercise-could-be-key-to-reducing/12994818

  • Jones, MD (August 13, 2014). How exercise helps us tolerate pain. The New York Times (Well – PhysEd). Retrieved from https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/how-exercise-helps-us-tolerate-pain

 

Memberships

  • 2011 - present: Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Exercise and Sports Science Australia 
  • 2018 - present: Member, Osteoarthritis working group, SPHERE
  • 2018 - present: Member, Translational Cancer Research Network
  • 2020 - present: Australian and New Zealand Musculoskeletal Clinical Trials Network

 

Practice

  • 2017-2019: Accredited Exercise Physiologist, UNSW Fatigue Clinic

My Teaching

My clinical experience as an Exercise Physiologist has had a large impact on my teaching activities, which align closely with tasks that Exercise Physiologists would routinely perform in real-world clinical settings. This includes a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving through student-centred learning modalities that require students to take a deeper approach to their learning. In recognition of the many different ways students learn, I use a variety of teaching styles and resources to support this. I also place considerable emphasis on fit for purpose assessment to better guide students' development regarding relevant clinical skills and competencies.

 

I am also a strong believer in students as 'scientist practitioners' - being able to critically appraise and use scientific evidence to inform their care delivery. Accordingly, I place strong emphasis on developing students' research skills as I believe this will make them a better clinician. Ultimately, my goal is to help students develop into competent and confident new graduate Exercise Physiologists who can adopt an evidence-based, person-centred approach in their care delivery.

 

Further information regarding my teaching can be found here

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Location

Wallace Wurth Building, Room 202

Contact

(02) 9348 0032