Matthew Fernandez

BSpSc, MChiro, PhD

Private practice and Department of Chiropractic, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Australia.

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Research interests and skills

My current research interests stem from my desire to understand important aspects of physical activity interventions in chiropractic practice. Evidence indicates that most chiropractors discuss physical activity and are therefore in an ideal position to promote exercise in the health care setting. However, further understanding of fundamental aspects, i.e., practitioner knowledge of current guideline recommendations, counselling skills, promotion and level of training etc. will allow us to understand the current state of Australian chiropractors’ physical activity awareness and encouragement across several settings.


Ongoing research

  • The profile of Australian chiropractors managing patients with low back-related leg pain – an analysis of 1,907 chiropractors from the ACORN practice-based research network*
  • Physical activity endorsement by Australian chiropractors: an analysis from the ACORN practice-based research network*
  • The frequency of light or heavy physical activity and all-cause mortality: a longitudinal study of elderly twins*

Research publications

  • Fernandez M, Colodro-Conde L, Hartvigsen J, Pinheiro MB, Ferreira ML, Refshauge KM, Ordonana JR, Ferreira PH. Chronic low back pain and the risk of depression or anxiety symptoms: Insights from a longitudinal twin study. The Spine Journal. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.02.009.
  • Fernandez M, Boyle EHartvigsen J, Ferreira MLRefshauge KM, Maher CG, Christensen K, Hopper JL, Ferreira PH. Is this back pain killing me? All-cause and cardiovascular-specific mortality in older Danish twins with spinal pain. European Journal of Pain, 2017 doi: 10.1002/ejp.996.
  • Fernandez M, Ordoñana JR, Hartvigsen J, Ferreira ML, Refshauge KM, Sánchez-Romera JF, et al. (2016) Is Chronic Low Back Pain Associated with the Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease when Genetic Susceptibility Is Considered? A Co-Twin Control Study of Spanish Twins. PLoS ONE, 2016 11(5): e0155194. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155194. [Download here]
  • Fernandez M, Ferreira PH. Acupuncture for sciatica and a comparison with Western Medicine (PEDro synthesis). British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016 xii31:bjsports-2016.
  • Fernandez M, Ferreira ML, Refshauge KM, Hartvigsen J, Silva IR, Maher CG, Koes BW, Ferreira PH. Surgery of physical activity in the management of sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Spine Journal, 2015. [Download here]
  • Fernandez M, Hartvigsen J, Ferreira ML, Refshauge KM, Machado AF, Lemes ÍR, Maher CG, Ferreira PH. Advice to Stay Active or Structured Exercise in the Management of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Spine, 2015;40(18):1457-66. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001036