Diana De Carvalho

BSc, DC,MSc, PhD

Assistant Professor, Discipline of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland


Research interests and skills

LBP might be the first of many negative health outcomes to be experienced by sedentary workers. Currently, there is still much to be learned about sitting induced back pain, especially in regards to pathways of pain and injury and in the context of older and clinical populations.

These questions have motivated my research program: focusing on the biomechanics of the human spine, especially in seated postures, in the context of:

  • injury mechanisms (acute and repetitive tissue overload, strain of passive tissues by creep, and altered neuromuscular control)

  • treatment options (spine manipulation, stretching, soft tissue therapy and exercise)

  • prevention strategies (movement breaks, ergonomic aids, alternative work environments, early diagnostic indicators)


Ongoing research

  • An investigation of transient low back pain development in response to prolonged sitting using a healthy and clinical population: a pilot study. Experimental Laboratory Controlled Study.

  • Effect of an “active” office chair on the biomechanics of the low back and calf circumference measures. Experimental Laboratory Controlled Study.

  • Can Tri-axial Accelerometers Improve Current Clinical Measures of Spinal Mobility in Patients with Axial Spondyloarthropathy? Experimental Laboratory Controlled Study.

  • Effect of prolonged sitting on neuromuscular and biomechanical responses of the lower back in healthy individuals. Experimental Laboratory Controlled Study.

  • The relationship between lumbopelvic flexibility and sitting posture in adult women. Experimental Laboratory Controlled Study.

  • Knowledge of and adherence to radiographic guidelines for low back pain: a study of Newfoundland and Labrador chiropractors and their patients.

  • Associations between individual characteristics and spinal stiffness: a combined analysis of multiple datasets.

  • Common mechanical themes among persons referred for Objective Spine Motion Imaging Assessment.

  • Does psychological profile, pain intensity and self-rated health modify the association between expectations and the short-term subjective improvement in patients with low back pain? A longitudinal multicenter trial.

  • Practices of female and male chiropractors in Australia: secondary data analysis.

  • Do physiological limits of human touch prevent clinicians from appreciating relevant biomechanical changes in low back pain patients?

  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis exploring an aspect of prolonged sitting and transient back pain development

  • Does objectively measured prolonged standing for deskwork result in lower ratings of perceived low back pain than sitting? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

  • An analysis of force distribution during spinal manipulative therapy. Experimental laboratory Controlled Study.


Research publications

  • De Carvalho D and Callaghan JP. Can walking breaks reset sitting-induced low back pain? Submitted to Applied Ergonomics April 2018

  • De Carvalho D, Grondin D and Callaghan J. The impact of office chair features on lumbar lordosis, intervertebral joint and sacral tilt angles: a radiographic assessment. Ergonomics. 2017. 60(10)1393- 1404.

  • De Carvalho D and Callaghan J. Spine posture and discomfort during prolonged simulated driving with self-selected lumbar support prominence. Human Factors. 2015. [Epub ahead of print] Pii:0018720815584866.

  • Callaghan JP, De Carvalho DE, Gallagher KM, Karakolis T, Nelson-Wong E. Is standing the solution to sedentary office work? Ergonomics in Design. 2015. 23(3)20-24.

  • De Carvalho D and Callaghan J. Influence of Automobile Seat Lumbar Support Prominence on Spine and Pelvic Postures: A Radiological Investigation. Applied Ergonomics. 2012. 43(5):876-882.

  • De Carvalho DE and Callaghan JP. Passive stiffness changes in the lumbar spine and effect of gender during prolonged simulated driving. The International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 2011. 41(6):617-624.

  • Diana De Carvalho, David Soave, Kim Ross, Jack Callaghan. Lumbar spine and pelvic posture between standing and sitting: a radiologic investigation including reliability and repeatability of the lumbar lordosis measure. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010. 33(1):48-55.