Dr Seth O Neill

Associate Professor - Research lead for Physiotherapy

School/Department: Healthcare, School of



Seth is a Physiotherapy Lecturer at the University of Leicester whilst also maintaining clinical work. He has a PhD on tendinopathy within this Seth has identified prevalence rates of tendinopathy in UK runners and developed a greater understanding of risk factors surrounding Achilles tendinopathy. His later work has completed a more in-depth analysis of how tendinopathy affects the Plantarflexors. This has focussed on how the strength and endurance is affected and which of the Plantarflexors is most involved. This work has highlighted the involvement of the Soleus muscle in human Achilles tendinopathy. This has led to the further work related to Calf injuries in sports. Whilst Seth’s focus is on the Lower limb he maintains a strong interest in all MSK conditions. Seth feels passionately about supporting Physiotherapists to undertake further research either as standalone projects or MRes’s or PhD’s. Seth is currently examining tendon structure and changes that occur during health and disease along with Biopsychosocial interventions for tendinopathy and LBP and developing an international database of calf injuries.


We have some major projects underway examining tendon complaints funded by various bodies including the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


1. Gravare Silbernagel, K., Malliaras, P., de Vos, R.J., Hanlon, S., Molenaar, M., Alfredson, H., van den Akker-Scheek, I., Antflick, J., van Ark, M., Farnqvist, K. O'Neill,. S. and Haleem, Z., 2021. ICON 2020-International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium Consensus: A Systematic Review of Outcome Measures Reported in Clinical Trials of Achilles Tendinopathy. Sports Medicine, pp.1-29.

2. Mallows, A., Head, J., Goom, T., Malliaras, P., O'Neill, S. and Smith, B., 2021. Patient perspectives on participation in exercise-based rehabilitation for Achilles tendinopathy: a qualitative study. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, p.102450.

3. Stephens, G., O'Neill, S., Mottershead, C., Hawthorn, C., Yeowell, G. and Littlewood, C., 2020. 'It's just like a needle going into my hip, basically all of the time'. The experiences and perceptions of patients with Greater Trochanteric Pain syndrome in the UK National Health Service. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, p.102175.

4. O'Neill S, Watson P, Barry S. Plantarflexor strength and endurance deficits associated with mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy: The role of Soleus. Physical Therapy in Sport, 2019, 37(May).69-76 

5. Rabello L, Dams O, Akker-Scheek I,  Zwerver J, O'Neill S, Substantiating the use of ultrasound tissue characterization in the analysis of tendon structure: a systematic review, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 2019. In Press.

6. Stephens, G., O'Neill, S., Clifford, C., Cuff,A., Forte, F., Hawthorn, C., Littlwood,C. Greater trochanteric pain syndrome in the UK National Health Service: A multicentre service evaluation. Musculoskeletal care, 2019, 17, 390-298.

7. Stephens, G., O'Neill, S., French, H.P., Fearon, A., Grimaldi, A., O'Connor, L., Woodley, S. and Littlewood, C.,. A survey of physiotherapy practice (2018) in the United Kingdom for patients with Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. 2019 Jan12;40:10-20. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2019.01.004. [Epub ahead of print]

8. O'Neill, S. Jayna, R. Bird, K. Bandholm, T. Rathleff, M. Thorberg, K. Acute sensory and motor response to 45-seconds heavy isometric holds for the plantar flexors in patients with Achilles tendinopathy. International scientific tendon symposium; Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2018 Jul 4. doi: 10.1007/s00167-018-5050-z 

9. O'Neill S, Watson P, Barry S. A delphi study of risk factors for Achilles tendinopathy- opinions of world tendon experts. International journal of sports physical therapy 2016;11(5):684-697. 

10. O'Neill S, Watson P, Barry S. Why are eccentric exercises effective for Achilles tendinopathy? International journal of sports physical therapy 2015;10(4):552-562


I am currently supervising or co-supervising projects examining Tendon injuries in elite sports with a primary focus on the Achilles tendon and Calf injuries and calf muscle function. We have upcoming work examining Achilles tendon ruptures.

I have a strong interest and work in Cognitive functional therapy alongside management of LBP and other MSK complaints.

The work is often mixed methods and examines peoples experiences of these conditions the epidemiology risk factors and rehabilitation for these conditions.

If you are interested in Musculoskeletal injuries then please consider getting in touch if your interested in tendon complaints or muscle injuries then definitely get in touch. 


Physiotherapy BSc modules include clinical skills in Musculoskeletal physio and practical and theoretical skills in Evidence based practice (research) across all three years of the course.

Press and media

My areas of expertise relates to tendon injuries i.e. tendon ruptures in elite sports or tendinitis/tendinopathy muscle injuries in particular the calf and lower limb problems like sever's disease and Medial tibial stress syndrome.




Seth regularly lectures nationally and internationally


 FIFA football medicine conference Camp Nou

• English Institute of Sport (tendon day) (EIS)

• Football Association (FA) (tendon study day)

• European society of Sports Traumatology and knee arthroscopic surgery (ESSKA) pan European conference

• British Equine Vets Association (BEVA) national conference NEC Birmingham

• FC Barcelona Sports Medicine Conference

• Royal Society of Medicine (ISEH): Sports and Orthopaedics conference

• Football Association Medical Society Soleus injuries

• England RFU medicine conference

• Ireland RFU-Muscle injury study day

• Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) conference

• FC Barcelona Sports Medicine Conference International conference

• Big Rs - MSK reform conference • Football AssociationCalf and Achilles night

• Fortius International sports injury conference (FISIC)

• SportsKongress • Equine conference Horses inside out


• Ireland RFU-Muscle and tendon injury study day

• Barca Innovation Hub/FC Barcelona’s “Sports tomorrow”

• Australian Rugby Federation

• Calf injuries in sports Royal Society of Medicine

• International Federation of Sports Physical therapy 


Seth's interests in tendon complaints stem from his own experience of these conditions his ongoing clinical and consultancy work and his love of sports.

Media coverage

In addition I have completed online educational talks in the form of webinars and podcasts for international leaders in the field:

British Journal of Sports Medicine PhysioEdge Clinical Edge Physiopedia and PhysioMatters and various other lesser known ones. Examples:









• PhD “A biomechanical approach to Achilles tendinopathy management” University of Leicester April 2017. Completed Part-Time.

• MSc Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (Merit) Sheffield Hallam University 2009.

• BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy (2.1) Leeds Metropolitan University 2000.

• Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP) no.64359

• Member of the musculoskeletal Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (MMACP)

• Member of the associations of Chartered Physiotherapists interested in Sports and Exercise medicine (ACPSEM).

• HCPC Health care professions council member- PH58224

• SHEA Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy 

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