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John Dixon

01642 384125
Job title:
Associate Dean (Research & Innovation)
School of Health & Social Care
Health & Social Care research

About John Dixon

John Dixon

John Dixon
Associate Dean (Research & Innovation), School of Health & Social Care
T: 01642 384125
Research: Health & Social Care research

John is a Professor of Applied Physiology and Rehabilitation, and the Associate Dean (Research & Innovation) in the School of Health & Social Care. As a member of the senior executive team he is responsible for leading and developing the research and innovation in the School.

John has a first-class honours degree in Physiology and his PhD was an investigation of quadriceps muscle function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. John’s research interests include the assessment and management of painful neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as patellofemoral pain, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis, and also interventions such as exercise and footwear to improve balance and functional ability. He is interested in the importance of muscle function in health, disease and rehabilitation, and in the relationship between ageing and decline in physical function such as strength and balance.

John is a Section Editor of BMC Sports Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pain Management. He is a member of the R&D Committee of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, and is a facilitator of the North East Hub of the Council for Allied Health Professions Research (previously the Allied Health Professions Research Network). He was a Committee Member of the Physiotherapy Research Society from 2008 to 2014, serving as Chair of the Society from 2012 to 2014.

Research interests

Research interests (in brief)

•Muscle function 
•Gait and balance 
•Assessment of impairments in neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy 
•Interventions to improve functional ability

External research funding since 2008

'Improving gait by way of plantar tactile stimulation: an exploratory randomized controlled trial of the effects of prolonged wear of textured shoe insoles in people with Multiple Sclerosis' - 2014. Funder: Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia.

'Cardiovascular health wireless monitoring system for occupational drivers' - 2013 
Funder: Singapore Ministry of Education Translational Innovation Fund. 

'The long-term effects of textured shoe insoles on balance, walking ability and function in people with MS' – 2012. Funder: Multiple Sclerosis Society. Principal Investigator. 

'Targeted intervention for patellofemoral pain syndrome' – 2011. Funder: Arthritis Research UK. 

'Wearing textured insoles in shoes to help self-management for people with MS: an exploratory study of the effects on balance' - 2009. Principal Investigator. 

'Do textured insoles affect postural stability and lower limb muscle activity in older adults prone to falling?' – 2008. Funder Physiotherapy Research Foundation.

External Research Collaboration

•AUT University, New Zealand 
•Queensland University, Australia 
•Ithaca College, USA 
•Republic Polytechnic, Singapore 
•University of Central Lancashire
•University of Southampton
•Dept of Rehabilitation, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

PhD supervision

Successfully completed

Virtual rehabilitation for multiple sclerosis (2015).

Exergaming acceptance and experience in older people (2014). 

The effects of exergaming on technology acceptance, flow and postural control in a healthy people (2014). 

Clinical and cost-effectiveness of foot orthoses in established rheumatoid arthritis (2013). Director of Studies. 

Development of a high-intensity exergaming system: pre-clinical and modelling phases. (2013)

The Effect of Textured Surfaces on Postural Stability and Lower Limb Muscle Activity during Quiet Standing in Healthy Young and Older Adults (2010). Director of Studies. 

An EMG analysis of quadriceps femoris during exercise in adults with acute ACL injuries (2009). 

Jennifer Baron. The long-term effects of textured shoe insoles on balance, walking ability and function in people with MS. Director of Studies. 

Lay Khoon Lau. Validity of the measurement of cervical joint position error in determining the deficits of cervical spine joint position sense. 

Samantha Gillard. The effect of abdominal exercises to correct the Inter-Recti distance in postnatal women with a diastasis of rectus abdominis. Director of Studies.

Gok Kandasamy. Biomechanics of the knee joint in cricket fast bowlers.

Ryan Kenny. Determining the mechanisms by which textured insoles improve balance. Director of Studies (University Doctoral Training Alliance DTA)

James Watson. Improving gait and balance in people with low back pain: the effect of education about pain.

Sarah Taylor. Sensorimotor function in MS. 

Matt Scott. The effect of motor imagery during action observation on motor execution.

Dan Tough. The effects of exergaming on balance, walking ability and function. 

Kirsti Loughran. Pain and gait in COPD.


Selected key publications 

Selfe J, Janssen J, Callaghan M, Witvrouw E, Sutton C, Richards J, Stokes M, Martin D, Dixon J, Hogarth R, Baltzopoulos V, Ritchie E, Arden N, Dey P. (2016) Are there three main subgroups within the patellofemoral pain population?  A detailed characterisation study of 127 patients to help develop targeted Intervention (TIPPs). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50:873-880.

Robinson J, Dixon J, MacSween A Van Schaik P, Martin D. (2015) The effects of exergaming on balance, gait, technology acceptance and flow experience in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Sports Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation, 7:8.

Dixon J, Hatton AL, Robinson J, Gamesby H, Hodgson D, Rome K, Warnett R, Martin DJ. (2014) Effect of textured insoles on balance and gait in people with MS: an exploratory trial. Physiotherapy, 100: 142-149. 

Chester R, Smith TO, Sweeting D, Dixon J, Wood S, Song F. (2008) The relative timing of VMO and VL in anterior knee pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2008, 9:64.

View John Dixon's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • Digital experts looking to get beyond the `audition' stage in international healthcare project
    North East Connected, 18/10/2017
    Researchers at Teesside University are part of the international project which will to help provide support for people with a variety of health conditions.

  • Novel shoe insoles step in right direction for multiple sclerosis
    Public (web), 7/2/2017: PressreleasePoint (web)07.02.17:Medical Express(Web) 07.02.17:Health Canal (Web) 13/02/2017:
    An international team of researchers is trialing specially designed shoe insoles aimed at improving the mobility of people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

  • Academics fear game will never be free of corruption
    Evening Gazette, 12/04/2016; Gazette Live, 12/04/2016; North East Connected, 12/04/2016
    Teesside University lecturer Dr Kevin Dixon had is behind a new textbook entitled Studying Football, in which he claims that corruption within the sport is impossible to eliminate.

  • Leading research
    BBC Radio Tees, Neil Green, 02/09/2013
    Researchers at Teesside University are leading the way to help people suffering from MS.