Physiotherapist Jennifer Persaud is eyeing up future research projects after winning an award for a study part-funded by the CSP Charitable Trust.
Ms Persaud, who is studying for a masters degree in sports and exercise medicine, was judged to have submitted the year's best scientific paper in her department. She collected an award named after John King, an orthopaedic surgeon and founder of her course at Bart's Inner London School of Medicine and Dentistry. 'It's the first time a physio has won it,' she told Frontline. 'I feel honoured and it's great for recognition.' Ms Persaud is a private practitioner in London and also physiotherapist to the England Women's Rugby Union Team and the club side Saracens. Her scientific paper investigated physiotherapeutic taping - a treatment widely used to manage patellofemoral pain syndrome. She said previous studies have shown that strategically applying tape to the kneecap in an attempt to realign it significantly reduces pain, but it is not clear why this happens. One suggestion is that taping works by increasing activity of the vastus medialis obliquus muscle to result in 'improved patellar tracking'. Ms Persaud found that patellar taping did not bring about statistically significant changes in so-called 'motor neurone pool activity'. She said the small sample size and time constraints limited the significance of the research. She added: 'It's not an award-winning study because of the results it showed, but for the work that went into it, the way it was applied and thought out with the limited resources available.' She said she now hoped to 'contribute to the profession' by doing more academic study as well as her clinical workload. 'I study alongside doctors and surgeons, so it's very good for an interprofessional exchange of information.' She thanked her collaborators - project supervisor and physiotherapist Dylan Morrissey, course leader Zoe Hudson, also a physio, advisor Caroline Alexander, and neurophysiologist Santiago Catania.
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