Alan Breen

DC, PhD, IPEM, FRCC - Professor, Director of Clinical Biomechanics Research

Alan Breen is Professor of Musculoskeletal Research both in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University and at the AECC University College, where he is the Director of the Clinical Biomechanics Research. Alan is also Clinical Director for Special Imaging, responsible for the Bournemouth Open Upright MRI service and Quantitative Fluoroscopy (QF).

Biography

Alan Breen graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1967, then travelled in North America, Australia and Europe before starting a part time teaching post at the AECC University College.  He established a chiropractic practice in Salisbury in 1974, which continues. In 1986 he became Director of Research at the AECC University College, focussing on musculoskeletal research and epidemiology and encouraging staff to undertake doctoral studies. In 1999 he became Director of a new Musculoskeletal Research Institute where he continues to work. 

Alan published the first epidemiology paper by a chiropractor in a medical journal in 1977 then established a clinical trial of chiropractic funded by the UK Medical Research Council. This had a positive outcome for chiropractors. His PhD project, which was completed in 1991, involved the invention and development of Quantitative Fluoroscopy, a technology that measures inter-vertebral motion in living subjects and which is now used in spinal surgery internationally. 

Current Activity

Alan Breen is Professor of Musculoskeletal Research both in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University and at the AECC University College, where he is the Director of the Clinical Biomechanics Research.  Alan is also Clinical Director for Special Imaging, responsible for the Bournemouth Open Upright MRI service and Quantitative Fluoroscopy (QF).

Alan is heading a programme of work on the individualised dynamic biomechanical assessment of the articular spine.  Since 2003, his research has been in the development and validation of the QF technology, and in the promotion of its transfer into the medical diagnostics market by supporting regulatory approvals. Concurrently, he has led a number of multidisciplinary research projects into the applications of these. This led to research into the interactions between the different control systems of the spine in health and disease and the prediction of strain between spinal segments in patients with back pain. 

Areas of Interest

Musculoskeletal Research, Clinical Research, Rehabilitation, Healthcare, Pain Management, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Spine, Biomechanics, Clinical Guidelines, Process of Care.

Qualifications

  • DC (Canada)
  • PhD (Southampton)

Membership

  • Royal Society of Medicine (Fellow)
  • Royal College of Chiropractors (Fellow)
  • British Chiropractic Association (Fellow)
  • Bournemouth University Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research and Education (Fellow)
  • Society for Back Pain Research (Member)
  • European Spine Society (Member)
  • Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Development Group (Member)
  • Pain, Action and Interference International Research Network (Member)
  • Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (Member)
  • Arthritis Research UK Musculoskeletal Pain Clinical Studies Group (Member)
  • National Institute of Health Research Mentorship for Health Research Training Fellows Scheme (Mentor).

Research

  • The effects of a countermeasure SkinSuit to oppose intervertebral disc swelling during spaceflight. (European Space Agency)
  • Clinical relevance of dynamic lumbar intervertebral motion sharing. (National Institute of Health Research)
  • Estimation of in vivo intervertebral loading during motion using fluoroscopic and magnetic resonance imaging informed finite element models. (Chiropractic Research Council)
  • Minimal detectable change in intervertebral kinematic measures in human subjects (European Council for Chiropractic Research Excellence)
  • Interactions and relationships between muscle electrical activity and intervertebral kinematics in the lumbar spine. (European Council for Chiropractic Research Excellence)
  • Effects of spinal manipulation on the kinematics of the cervical spine. (European Chiropractors Union Research Fund)
  • Learning to improve the management of low back pain in the community (The Health Foundation)
  • Influence of the process of care on outcomes for musculoskeletal disorders in primary care. (Musculoskeletal Process of Care Collaboration)
  • Beliefs and expectations in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain (Arthritis Research UK)

View/download Alan Breen's research in the AECC University College Research Repository.

Publications

Branney, J. and Breen, A. C., 2014. Does inter-vertebral range of motion increase after spinal manipulation? A prospective cohort study. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 22:24.

Breen, A., 2011. Closer to the bone: Functional musculoskeletal disorders - Time to improve objective assessment. Public Service Review: European Science & Technology, (12), 254-255.

Breen, A. and Breen, A., 2016. Accuracy and repeatability of quantitative fluoroscopy for the measurement of sagittal plane translation and instantaneous axis of rotation in the lumbar spine. Medical Engineering and Physics, 38, P607-614

Breen, A., Breen, A., Mellor, F., du Rose, A. and Bentman, S., Control of intervertebral Motion: A Critical Element of Spine Control and a Target for Treatment. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Submitted.

Breen, A., Mellor, F. and Breen, A., 2013. Lumbar Intervertebral Motion in Vivo: A Preliminary Comparison of Recumbent and Weight Bearing Motion Patterns in Adult Males. Bone and Joint Journal, 95-B (Supp 17 20).

Breen, A., Mellor, F., Breen, A. and Hilton, A., 2016. Intersegmental Kinematics in Patients with Persistent Back Pain: A Review of Quantitative Fluoroscopy referrrals. Orthopaedic Proceedings, 98-B (SUPP 6), 33-33.

Breen, A. C., Breen, Ax.C., 2017. Uneven intervertebral motion sharing is related to disc degeneration and is greater in patients with chronic, non-specific low back pain.  An in-vivo, cross-sectional cohort comparison of intervertrebral dynamics using quantitative fluoroscopy. European Spine Journal, (epub).

Breen, A. C., Teyhen, D. S., Mellor, F. E., Breen, A. C., Wong, K. and Deitz, A., 2012. Measurement of inter-vertebral motion using quantitative fluoroscopy: Report of an international forum and proposal for use in the assessment of degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine. Advances in Orthopaedics, 1-10.

Clark, C., Khattab, A., Carr, E., Breen, A. and Grahame, R., 2012a. Functional Impairments in Patients with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Developmental Coordination Disorder. Paper presented at the IFOMPT Rendez-vous of Hands and Minds - September 30th to October 5th, Quebec City, Canada.

Clark, C., Thomas, S., Carr, E. and Breen, A., 2012b. Development and Validation of the Functional Difficulties Questionnaire for Assessment Developmental Coordination Disorder in Adults. Paper presented at the IFOMPT A Rendez-Vous of Hands and Minds - September 30th - October 5th, Quebec City, Canada.

du Rose, A. and Breen, A., 2016. Relationships between Paraspinal Muscle Activity and Lumbar Inter-Vertebral Range of Motion. Healthcare, 4 (4).

du Rose A. and Breen, A., 2016. Relationships between lumbar inter-vertebral motion and lordosis in healthy adult males: a cross sectional cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 17 (121).

Georgy, E. E., Carr, E.C.J., Breen, A.C., 2009. Back pain management in primary care: patients' and doctors' expectations. Quality in Primary Care, 17 (6), 405-413.

Georgy, E. E., Carr, E.C.J., Breen, A.C., 2011. Met or matched expectations: what accounts for a successful back pain consultation in primary care? Heath Expectations.

Jones, M., Morris, A., Pope, A., Ayer, R. and A., B., 2016. Findings in back pain patients referred for Upright MRI. Bone and Joint Journal, 98-B (SUPP 6), 23.

Mellor, F., Breen, A., Thomas, P. and Thompson, P., 2016. Upper and lower cutoff limits for static and dynamic lumbar motion in non-specific chronic low back pain. Bone and Joint Journal, 98-B (SUPP 6), 35.

Mellor F.E., Thomas, P., Thompson, P. and Breen, A. C., 2014. Proportional lumbar spine inter-vertebral motion patterns: A comparison of patients with chronic non-specific low back pain and healthy controls. European Spine Journal, 23 (10), 2059-2067.

Mellor, F. E. and Breen, A. C., 2014. Discrimination of Biomechanical Back Pain Patient Subgroups from Continuous Inter-Vertebral Motion Data - A Protocol. Bone and Joint Journal, 96-B (Supp 4), 5.

Mellor, F. E., Thomas, P. and Breen, A., 2014. Moving back: The radiation dose received from lumbar spine quantitative fluoroscopy compared to lumbar spine radiographs with suggestions for dose reduction. Radiography, 20, 251-257.

Mieritz, R. M., Bronfort, G., Kawchuk, G., Breen, A. and Hartvigsen, J., 2012. Reliability and Measurement Error of 3-Dimensional Regional Lumbar Motion Measures: A Systematic Review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 35 (8), 645-656.

Parsons, S., Harding, G., Breen, A., Foster, N., Pincus, T., Vogel, S., Underwood, M., 2012. Will shared decision making between patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain and physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors improve patient care? Family Practice, 29 (2), 203-212.

Shilton, M., Branney, J., Penning de Vries, B. and Breen, A., 2015. Does cervical lordosis change after spinal manipulation for non-specific neck pain? A prospective cohort study. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 21 (1).

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