User:Jon Ford


Jon Ford

About Me

Dr. Jon Ford is a highly-accomplished Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with over 20 years of clinical experience in physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary chronic pain management. As the director of STOPS Back Pain, Jon is a global expert in research on the most effective methods for treating back pain. Fulfilling professional roles that span across the fields of clinical research, practical application and educating physiotherapists, Jon also serves as the Director for Knowledge and Learning Solutions International (KALSI), group leader for the Low Back Research Team at La Trobe University, and the Clinical Director for LifeCare Health. A bright mind in the science and business of back pain, Jon covers the full spectrum of what a health professional expert.

Jon’s love for the craft of successfully treating people began in 1981 when he participated as an elite athlete in the Junior World Kayaking Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria – an experience where he learned the value of exercise and conditioning in health. Personally suffering from back pain as a student for 3 years inspired Jon to explore and learn about strategies for self-management. After completing his under-graduate physiotherapy qualification, Jon went on to obtain a Masters in Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy) in 2000 and his PhD (on the classification of low back pain) in 2005. Whilst undertaking his academic studies, Jon simultaneously established a profitable and admirable track-record as a business man within the LifeCare group. Having now dedicated his entire adult life to the continual study and practice in physiotherapy, Jon has over 20 impressive years experience being hands-on with patients.

A leader who strives for perfection, Jon invests his time into treating patients, conducting clinical research (including clinical trials), and educating physiotherapists on the art of successfully treating back pain. Leading an internationally regarded research team, Jon directs his research towards uncovering the most effective, patient focused treatments for low back pain. Believing in the development of self-management skills that empower patients to eliminate dependence on practitioners, Jon educates patients on both the cause and solution for their back pain.

Jon uses his clinical research expertise in the treatment of his own patients and in educating other physiotherapists worldwide. Through a combination of high quality research, clinical experience and practitioner education, Jon’s mission of optimizing outcomes worldwide for patients with back pain is achieved.

“Back pain can be a debilitating and frustrating experience,” said Jon, “Teaching physiotherapists how to get outstanding clinical outcomes and raise the quality of life of their patients is the most critical component of my work – simply because it helps the greatest amount of people. All my professional endeavors follow the principle of quality, kindness, and service.”

As a visionary man who remains in continual connection with other leaders in the field of physiotherapy, Jon is a regular speaker at international conferences and workshops on back pain. Jon has published a long line of peer reviewed papers on low back pain including: Classification Systems for Low Back Pain, Pathoanatomy and Classification of Low Back Disorders and Complexity and the Management of Back Pain.

Outside of his professional career Jon is a dedicated parent, surfer, guitar player and surf lifesaver.


PhD - University of Melbourne 2005

MPhysio (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy) - University of Melbourne 2000

Cred MDT - 1999

BAppSc(Physio) - La Trobe University 1988

Professional Affiliations

Australian Physiotherapy Association

Spine Society of Australia

International Association for the Study of Pain

Professional Appointments

Add any professional appointments here, for example if you site on the board of any professional bodies or clinical interest groups.


Chan, A., Ford, J., McMeeken, J., & Wilde, V. (2012). The indicators of non-reducible discogenic pain: an international expert panel. Physiotherapy, In press.

Ford, J., & Hahne, A. (2013). Complexity in managing low back disorders: clinical and research implications. Manual Therapy, In press.

Ford, J., Hahne, A., Chan, A., & Surkitt, L. (2012). A classification and treatment protocol for low back disorders. Part 3: functional restoration for intervertebral disc related disorders. Physical Therapy Reviews, 17(1), 55-75.

Ford, J., Richards, M., & Hahne, A. (2012). A classification and treatment protocol for low back disorders. Part 4: functional restoration for low back disorders associated with multifactorial persistent pain. Physical Therapy Reviews, 17(5), 322-334.

Ford, J., Story, I., & McMeeken, J. (2009). The test retest reliability and concurrent validity of the Subjective Complaints Questionnaire for low back pain. Manual Therapy, 14 283-291.

Ford, J., Story, I., O’Sullivan, P., & McMeeken, J. (2007). Classification systems for low back pain: a review of the methodology for development and validation. Physical Therapy Reviews, 12, 33-42.

Ford, J., Surkitt, L., & Hahne, A. (2011). A classification and treatment protocol for low back disorders. Part 2: directional preference management for reducible discogenic pain. Physical Therapy Reviews, 16(6), 423-437.

Ford, J., Thompson, S., & Hahne, A. (2011). A classification and treatment protocol for low back disorders. Part 1: specific manual therapy. Physical Therapy Reviews, 16(3), 168-177.

Ford, J. J., & Hahne, A. J. (2012a). Pathoanatomy and classification of low back disorders. Manual Therapy, 18, 165-168. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.05.007

Hahne, A., & Ford, J. (2006). Functional restoration for a chronic lumbar disk extrusion with associated radiculopathy. Physical Therapy, 86(12), 1668-1680.

Hahne, A., Ford, J., Hinman, R., Taylor, N. F., Surkitt, L., Walters, A., & McMeeken, J. (2010). Outcomes and adverse events from physiotherapy functional restoration for lumbar disc herniation with associated radiculopathy. Disability and Rehabilitation, Early Online, 1-11.

Hahne, A., Ford, J., & McMeeken, J. (2010). Conservative management of lumbar disc herniation with associated radiculopathy: a systematic review. Spine, 35(11), E488-E504.

Hahne, A. J., Ford, J. J., Hinman, R. S., Taylor, N. F., Surkitt, L. D., Walters, A. G., & McMeeken, J. M. (2011). Outcomes and adverse events from physiotherapy functional restoration for lumbar disc herniation with associated radiculopathy. Disability and Rehabilitation, 33(17-18), 1537-1547. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2010.533814

Hahne, A. J., Ford, J. J., Surkitt, L. D., Richards, M. C., Chan, A. Y., Thompson, S. L., . . . Taylor, N. F. (2011). Specific treatment of problems of the spine (STOPS): design of a randomised controlled trial comparing specific physiotherapy versus advice for people with subacute low back disorders. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 12, 104. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-12-104

Richards, M. C., Ford, J. J., Slater, S. L., Hahne, A. J., Surkitt, L. D., Davidson, M., & McMeeken, J. M. (2012). The effectiveness of physiotherapy functional restoration for post-acute low back pain: a systematic review. Manual Therapy, 18(1), 4-25. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.06.005

Slater, S. L., Ford, J. J., Richards, M. C., Taylor, N. F., Surkitt, L. D., & Hahne, A. J. (2012). The effectiveness of sub-group specific manual therapy for low back pain: a systematic review. Manual Therapy, 17(3), 201-212. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.01.006

Surkitt, L. D., Ford, J. J., Hahne, A. J., Pizzari, T., & McMeeken, J. M. (2012). Efficacy of directional preference management for low back pain: a systematic review. Physical Therapy, 92(5), 652-665. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20100251

Wilde, V., Ford, J., & McMeeken, J. (2007). Indicators of lumbar zygapophyseal joint pain: survey of an expert panel with the Delphi Technique. Physical Therapy, 87(10), 1348–1361.


Contact Details

[email protected]

This User is a member of the Musculoskeletal / Orthopaedic group This User is a member of the Pain group