The Musculoskeletal and Allied Health program focuses on investigator initiated research trials with a specific emphasis on translational and tangible outcomes aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of those from both the hospital and wider community in which we serve.
Musculoskeletal disorders are highly prevalent in the Australian population, imposing a substantial burden both at the health-care system and individual level. Musculoskeletal disorders are a primary cause of impaired physical functioning globally with many conditions having high chronicity rates and significant long term impacts, leading to reduced mobility, increased risk of falls, impaired ability to undertake activities of daily living and overall, fostering a negative impact on family and social life.
Allied health professional play a key role in the management of many musculoskeletal conditions and the team at AIMSS is involved in many areas of research using rehabilitation focussed interventions to address falls and fear of falling, balance and proprioceptive deficits, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older adults. The Gait and Balance Gym (GABA Gym) housed at AIMSS provides state-of-the-art facilities for many of the research initiatives undertaken by this team.

A/Prof Cathy Said
Project Director
A/Professor Said is the inaugural Associate Professor Physiotherapy, Western Health & The University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on gait, balance and falls in older people and people with neurological disorders.

Rita Kinsella
Former Program Director
Rita Kinsella is a musculoskeletal Physiotherapist who works both clinically and as a researcher at AIMSS as well as at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Her role at AIMSS as Clinical Research Manager involves the implementation and coordination of a variety of musculoskeletal based research projects across AIMSS and its many collaborators.  She is an honorary Research Fellow of the Melbourne Medical School, Department of Medicine. At St Vincent’s hospital she is involved in a variety of orthopaedic physiotherapy based trials, investigating conservative interventions for hip and knee osteoarthritis, as well as her own PhD research exploring optimal exercise interventions for rotator cuff tendinopathy.
  • Effects of Vitamin D on balance and rehabilitation in elderly fallers
  • Preventing falls in older adults – balance rehabilitation using the Gait and Balance Gym
  • Effects of neuromuscular stimulation on strength and function in elderly non-weight bearing patients
  • Effects of parathyroidectomy on frail older persons
  • COP cell research: the relationship between vitamin D and circulating osteoprogenitor (COP) cells; the role of circulating osteoprogenitor (COP) cells in lumbar canal stenosis; the role of circulating osteoprogenitor (COP) cells in osteosarcopenic obese older individuals
  • Osteoarthritis (hip and knee)