Ashley Smith

 

Clinical Specialty Area: Musculoskeletal

Year of Graduation: 1991

Years in Specialty Practice: 12

PhD: 2015

Biography: Ashley achieved the designation of Clinical Specialist in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2011. He originally graduated in 1990 with a Baccalaureate Degree in Applied Science (Physiotherapy) and made his way from Australia to Canada (via the UK) in 1996. He subsequently achieved his Fellowship in Manual and Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT) in 2001. Certification in dry needling (IMS) was achieved in the same year.

Ashley is the director of Evidence Sport & Spinal Therapy, a multi-disciplinary clinic within the Advanced Spinal Care Centre in Calgary, Canada, where he pursues his clinical work as a physiotherapy consultant. He has a passion for achieving the correct diagnosis on each individual who presents to the clinic and providing appropriate evidence-based treatment options to allow individuals with complex clinical presentations to improve their quality of life in a timely fashion – particularly in the field of whiplash injuries, nerve-related symptoms (e.g. sciatica) or complex widespread pain conditions.  Ashley works closely with other health professionals (locally, nationally and internationally) to ensure that all aspects of an individual’s function and quality of life can be improved.  This may be through interventions such as prolotherapy, facet injections or nerve blocks, or referral to psychology when appropriate.  As each individual has a unique clinical presentation, each treatment should also be individualized.

Ashley completed his PhD through the University of Queensland in Australia (as a remote student performing the research in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) under the expert tutelage of Prof. Michele Sterling and Prof. Gwen Jull. His PhD investigated the effects of peripheral nociceptive generators on the physical and psychological presentation of individuals with persistent WAD symptoms. He has subsequently completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Australia, further investigating mechanisms that influence persistent pain in chronic WAD. Ashley's ongoing research focuses on endogenous pain modulation, the role of exercise in chronic pain and regenerative medicine in chronic WAD.

Ashley also provides medicolegal consultations, attends IME examinations and works closely with other professionals, such as Occupational Therapists to assist with the provision of a respected legal opinion in regard to personal injuries.  Ashley developed the Calgary Whiplash Assessment & Diagnostic Laboratory (WADLab) to provide accurate and objective markers to assist with prognosis and treatment options for individuals with longstanding pain following trauma.  He achieved certification in 2006 (re-certified in 2011) through the Spine Research Institute of San Diego (Motor Vehicle Crash Forensic Risk Analysis and Whiplash Brain Injury & Traumatology).   He has also achieved certification for medicolegal evaluations through the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME) and is a member of the Canadian Society of Medical Evaluators. 

As well as his clinical passions, Ashley loves to educate other professionals to assist with knowledge translation.  In conjunction with Geoff Schneider; Ashley developed ‘The management of patients with Whiplash Associated Disorders course’ in 2003 and they have continued to evolve their course into a modular program involving evidence-based content from the physiotherapy and medical disciplines.