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Mrs Emma Sargeant

Lecturer: Physiotherapy

School of Healthcare Sciences


Research Interests

  • Neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • Anatomy
  • Ergonomics
  • The physiotherapy management of spondyloarthropathy/ankylosing spondyilitis
  • Preventative intervention in the workplace
  • Population health
  • Physical activity and participation


Research with BSc students

  • EMG activity of Scapula stabilisers.
  • Activity of VMO/VL post fatigue.
  • The effects of knee/ankle supports on stability around the joint using force platform.
  • The effect of cervical lateral glide on pressure pain threshold and neurodynamics of the upper limb.
  • The effects of lumbar mobilisation on lumbar spine range of movement and lower limb neurodynamics.
  • A comparison of the effects of a course of lumbar mobilisation, neural slider mobilisation and hamstring stretches, on the sit and reach test.

My research

  • The neurophysiological effects of manual therapy to the cervical spine on asymptomatic subjects.
  • The role of education on fear avoidance beliefs and pain levels in chronic low back pain patients.
  • The effects of one and two-week intensive rehabilitation programmes on the short and long term outcome measures of ankylosing Spondylitis patients.
  • Factors which influence physical activity participation in the adult population.
  • Childhood experience of physical activity and participation as an adult.



  • Level 4    Anatomy, physiotherapy assessment and treatment skills, mobility, strength, exercise.
  • Level 5    Musculoskeletal - pathology, assessment and treatment techniques / manual skills, clinical reasoning.
  • Level 6    Progression of all level 2, health promotion and illness prevention and dissertation supervision.


  • Neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy - thoracic and cervical spine.
  • Exercise participation - barriers and enablers. 
  • The effects of childhood experience of physical activity and physical activity levels in adulthood. 


I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy in 1997. I started my clinical career in Cardiff and Vale university health board, where I completed a full junior rotation including respiratory/ITU, care of the elderly, spinal rehabilitation, trauma and orthopaedics and out patients. At that point I chose to direct my career towards musculoskeletal physiotherapy and got a senior II post in adult trauma and orthopaedics. Although I enjoyed this role I made the decision to move to the paediatric team and continued to work with trauma and orthopaedics, primarily based on the adolescent unit.

I took a break from my clinical practice and took a year off in 2001 to go on a round-the-world trip, which was an amazing experience, however on my return I was very disappointed to find that someone else had settled in my original position on the paediatric team (!) and I returned to a locum post initially and then a full time post in adult out patients. This was initially meant to be a temporary measure while I waited to return to paediatrics, however I it became my permanent role.

During my time as a locum I started an MSc in neuromusculoskeletal physiotherapy and this led to my decision to try and move into academia and in November 2003 I applied for a part-time post as a lecturer at Cardiff University. I was lucky enough to be offered the position and I have worked part time in the NHS and part-time at the University ever since.   

My clinical caseload includes:

  • Working with general musculoskeletal out patients, although my main area of expertise is spinal physio.
  • Running one or two-week intensive treatment courses for rheumatology patients. These programmes combine education with hydrotherapy and land-based exercise.
  • Mentoring and providing IST for junior physiotherapists.
  • Clinical lead on a new multidisciplinary programme for level 3 obesity patients.