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Matthew Jones


Postdoctoral fellow

Matt is an accredited exercise physiologist. His clinical and research interests concern the role of exercise in the management of chronic pain and chronic fatigue, in particular the mechanisms through which exercise works and the effectiveness of a combined exercise and education approach. Matt is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Exercise Physiology at UNSW Sydney and a postdoctoral fellow in the McAuley group at NeuRA. Since commencing with the McAuley group in 2019, Matt’s research profile has expanded to include investigations of medicines for low back pain and he has also developed an interest in research to improve the openness and transparency of science.

Projects Matthew Jones is currently involved with


Medicines for Back Pain

Medicines are a common treatment for back pain. The aim of this program of research is to improve our understanding of the clinical effects of medicines. Several studies constitute this program. 
1. A scoping review of analgesic medicines for chronic low back pain
The objective of this study is to identify the available clinical trials of medicines for chronic low back pain.  
This information will contribute to the methodology of Study 3. 
2. Evaluation of the impact of unpublished data from clinical trial registries on the effects of medicines for low back pain. 
The objective of this study is to evaluate whether there is a difference between clinical trial data that are published and those that are not published. 
This information will contribute to the methodology of Study 3. 
3. Paracetamol, NSAIDs and opioid analgesics for chronic low back pain: a network meta-analysis. 
The objective of this study is to produce information about the clinical effects of available analgesic medicines for chronic low back pain. This information will be available in a Cochrane review to assist clinical prescription of medicines.
Related Publications: 
Bagg MK et al. (2018). Paracetamol, NSAIDS and opioid analgesics for chronic low back pain: a network meta-analysis [Protocol]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 6.doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013045


Medicines for Back Pain


High-intensity interval training for reducing blood pressure: a randomized trial vs. moderate-intensity continuous training in males with overweight or obesity.

Clark T, Morey R, Jones MD, Marcos L, Ristov M, Ram A, Hakansson S, Franklin A, McCarthy C, De Carli L, Ward R, Keech A

Aerobic Exercise Reduces Pressure More Than Heat Pain Sensitivity in Healthy Adults.

Jones MD, Nuzzo JL, Taylor JL, Barry BK

The hypoalgesic effects of exercise are well described, but there are conflicting findings for different modalities of pain; in particular for mechanical vs thermal noxious stimuli, which are the most commonly used in studies of exercise-induced hypoalgesia. The aims of this study were 1) to investigate the effect of aerobic exercise on pressure and heat pain thresholds that were well equated with regard to their temporal and spatial profile and 2) to identify whether changes in the excitability of nociceptive pathways-measured using laser-evoked potentials-accompany exercise-induced hypoalgesia. This is the first investigation to compare the effects of exercise on pressure and heat pain using the same stimulation site and pattern. The results show that aerobic exercise reduces mechanical pain sensitivity more than thermal pain sensitivity.

Intensity-dependent effects of aerobic training on pressure pain threshold in overweight men: A randomized trial.

Hakansson S, Jones MD, Ristov M, Marcos L, Clark T, Ram A, Morey R, Franklin A, McCarthy C, Carli LD, Ward R, Keech A

Six weeks of MICT cycling (chronic exercise) increased PPT for the lower body, but not upper body, in overweight men, whereas HIIT did not provide any hypoalgesic effect for chronic exercise. The acute effect of exercise on PPT was highly variable and negligible overall.

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