Summer School

Improving Clinical Skills with Recent Research on Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics:

Everything you thought you knew but didn’t really!

A two-day conference with focus on the Podiatric assessment and treatment of arthritis and rheumatological conditions.

For over 28 years, the UK Biomechanics Summer School has received international recognition from leading experts for being a world class biomechanics conference. Each year, the event welcomes a selection of gold standard speakers who are pioneers in their fields of research and practice.

This prestigious two-day event brings the very latest in biomechanics research with a heavy emphasis on clinical applicability. Formal lectures, hands-on workshops, case studies, debates and “top tips” from the experts are just some of the features that make this such a stimulating conference.

This conference also includes a gala dinner with wine on Friday evening making it the perfect relaxed environment to catch up with friends, colleagues, and speakers.



Portait of Kevin Kirby

Dr Kevin Kirby

Dr. Kevin Kirby graduated from the California College of Podiatric Medicine in 1983 and completed his first-year surgical residency at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, California. He spent his second post-graduate year doing a Fellowship in Podiatric Biomechanics at CCPM where he also earned his MS degree. Dr. Kirby has authored or co-authored 29 articles in peer-reviewed journals, has authored or co-authored five book chapters, and has authored five books on foot and lower extremity biomechanics and orthosis therapy; all of which have been translated into Spanish language editions. He invented the Subtalar Joint Axis Palpation Technique, the Standing subtalar Joint Location Technique, the Anterior Axial Radiographic Projection, the Supination Resistance Test, the Maximum Pronation Test, and the Medial Heel Skive and Lateral Heel Skive Orthosis Techniques. Dr. Kirby has also created and developed the Subtalar Joint Axis Location and Rotational Equilibrium Theory of Foot Function and co-created and developed the Subtalar Joint Equilibrium and Tissue Stress Approach to Biomechanical Therapy of the Foot and Lower Extremity. He has also lectured internationally on 50 separate occasions and has lectured extensively throughout the United States.


Portait of Simon Bartold

Mr Simon Bartold

Mr. Simon Bartold is a graduate of Adelaide University where he gained a Bachelors Degree in Science with majors in Physiology and Zoology. His further qualification in podiatry was gained at the University of South Australia. He also holds post-graduate fellowships in Sports Podiatry with the Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, in Sport Sciences with Sports Medicine Australia and in the Faculty of Podiatric Medicine with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow).

Simon’s clinical background includes being the consultant podiatrist to the Australian Institute of Sport Cricket Academy, The British Cricket Academy and the Indian Cricket Team as well as numerous state and national sporting teams.

He was the Deputy Director of Podiatry Services at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and again chosen for the medical teams in Athens 2004 and Turin 2006. He attended his 4th Olympic games in London, 2012.

Simon is a Visiting Fellow of the University of Melbourne at the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine (CHESM) and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Staffordshire. He has published over 30 papers in high impact peer-reviewed journals and has authored or contributed chapters to 7 books. He has lectured at international conferences in 42 countries.



Dr Paul Harradine

Paul Harradine is a clinical podiatrist and director of The Podiatry Centre Ltd. He lectures on the post graduate circuit and has published papers in podiatric, physiotherapy and orthopaedic texts on first ray function, plantar pressure analysis technology, taping, outcome studies, orthoses production, gait analysis, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and foot function theory amalgamation. His recent research and publications have moved into the creation of recommendations and guidelines for gait analysis. While maintaining a part-time interest in research, Paul has worked clinically in MSK podiatry since 1995 and has prescribed more than 10,000 pairs of custom foot orthotics, over 8,500 of which he has made himself. Although working with professional sports teams, the majority of Paul’s clinical work is that of GP, orthopaedic, rheumatology and physiotherapy referred foot related MSK pain. Currently Paul is five years into a PhD on real time clinical gait analysis. When not at work, Paul is a keen sportsman most recently competing at Triathlon and drug free
bodybuilding. He is married, with 7 children.


Portait of Joanne Paton

Dr Joanne Paton

Dr. Joanne Paton is a podiatrist with 15 years’ clinical research experience specialising in diabetic foot ulcer prevention, supported by two prestigious NIHR fellowships. She currently leads the MSc Pre-Reg Podiatry Apprenticeship and the BEUP (Behaviour Enhancement and Ulcer Prevention in Diabetes) research team at University of Plymouth, Her research team has secured grants of more than one million pounds and published widely on the topic of insoles and footwear for ulcer prevention and the patient experience of living with diabetes. Joanne’s current clinical focus is working with local health services, using pressure analysis, to optimise the provision of offloading insoles for the diabetic foot ulcer prevention. Joanne continues to make significant international contribution as a member of the International Working Group for the Diabetic Foot to produce the 2023 prevention guidelines.


Portait of Emily Haworth

Emily Haworth

Emily is currently an Advanced Practitioner in Wales for the NHS and works in MSK and High risk acute settings.She has spent the majority of her Podiatric career as part of a hospital team, fighting to reduce and prevent amputations in the acute Diabetic and Vascular limb. She is a member of the Rcop vascular SAG and the Podiatric Sports Medicine SAG and lectures on the Pakistan Post grad cert on the Diabetic Foot. She co runs Gael Cpd ( Podiatric learning ) and has a Private practice. Hugely passionate about her chosen profession and merging the worlds of MSK and High risk. She volunteers with Forgotten feet in Cardiff and is specifically interested in wound care among rough sleepers. She has a Masters in High risk Limb management, pg cert Podiatric Sports Medicine, PG Dip positive Health Psychology and is currently studying Case accreditation Diagnostic Ultrasound in Brunel. Her topics of interest are varied but in particular : chronic conditions and prevention. Women and MSK and Sporting injuries, Merging biomechanical principles into high risk clinics. Lifestyle changes and epigenetics , The vascular limb.


Portait of Simon Spoone

Dr Simon Spooner

Dr. Simon K. Spooner qualified as a podiatrist in 1991 from the University of Brighton and in addition to his BSc in Podiatry, he was awarded the Paul Shenton prize for his research into callus. He went on to complete his PhD in podiatry from the University of Leicester in 1997, which focused on the causes and treatment of inherited foot disorders. Having previously taught clinical podiatry to students at University College, Northampton and Matthew Bolton College, Birmingham, Simon moved to Plymouth in 1998 where he worked as a lecturer in podiatric biomechanics, sports injuries and orthotic manufacture. Simon eventually became the Principal Lecturer and Head of School of Podiatry at the University of Plymouth. In full-time private practice since 2004, Simon continues to research and publish in the field of podiatric biomechanics and speaks internationally on foot orthotic therapy. He acts as a podiatrist to a UK premier league rugby club, a EFL football club and as a professional reviewer to a number of scientific journals; he has also appeared on television discussing the design characteristics of athletic footwear and children’s foot health. Simon’s research interests are currently focused upon the design, manufacture, mechanics and biomechanical effects of foot orthoses.


Portait of Joe Hamill

Dr Joe Hamill

Joseph Hamill completed his undergraduate degrees at York University (BA) and Concordia University (BS) and graduate work in Biomechanics at the University of Oregon (M.S., Ph.D.). He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds visiting positions at the Universities of Edinburgh (Scotland), Limerick (Ireland), Staffordshire (England), and Ostrava (Czech Republic). He has authored over 600 research papers, proceedings and abstracts, 21 book chapters and 11 books. He has also presented over 350 papers at both national and international conferences. He has been an invited speaker at numerous universities in the United States and around the world. He is a Fellow of the Research Consortium, ISB, ASB, CSB, ISBS, ACSM and the National Academy of Kinesiology. He has been awarded the James G. Hay Award from ASB, the Ruth Glassow Award from the Biomechanics Academy and Career Achievement Awards from ACSM and the Footwear Biomechanics Group. He was recently given Honorary membership in the International Society of Biomechanics. During his academic career, he has mentored over 60 PhD and MS students and 10 honors’ students. His research interests are focused on lower extremity biomechanics during normal and pathological locomotion. His current projects include studies on coordination variability in the determination of cumulative micro-trauma injuries and the interaction of biomechanical and anatomical factors in overuse injuries. Professionally, he has served as the Chair of the Footwear Biomechanics Group, President of the International Society of Biomechanics and President of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports.

I'm a newbie at attending the LBG Medical Biomechanics Summer School. In its 25 years, I've never been until this one! (This, for a serial conference attendee like me, is quite an admission!)

As a primarily general podiatrist (who doesn't do much musculoskeletal work) you might ask what made this one so attractive to me?

Well I don't know about you, but I am finding more and more people coming to see me about their musculoskeletal issues, and I felt frustrated that I hadn't put in the hours and time to ensure I had the answers to their problems.

Sure, I've got some great pod friends; Nick Knight, Tim Veysey Smith, Dave James, & Ian Griffiths, all of whom are much stronger than me in musculoskeletal areas and who have helped me with my MSK cases in recent months.

But really it was time I stepped up to the MSK plate so when Nick Knight told me he was going, he advised me that if I wanted to up my musculoskeletal game, I should attend too, that was it!

Then I looked at the speaker list. With a line-up of two professors:
Professor Benno Nigg; demigod of biomechanics and human locomotion study


Professor Peter Brukner, an expert in sports performance & nutrition, formerly a sports physician to the Australian cricket team, Liverpool Football Club and other elite athletes


And, I knew we were in for a treat before I even looked at the podiatry input of;

Simon Bartold, who I knew would have exciting things to say about the revolutionary Salomon Predict running shoe!


Dr. Kevin Kirby, who's a hero in my eyes for his YouTube video on Verruca needling, never mind his exhaustive biomechanics knowledge.

Emma Cowley who works tirelessly, dragging us all kicking and screaming into using repeatable, reliable, measurable parameters and gathering data on our outcomes.

Trevor Prior, who could be talking about the telephone directory and he would find a way to make it educational and funny.

I simply had to be there!
Not knowing what to expect I was immediately impressed by the quality of the welcome and delegate pack. Inside the canvas satchel; a ring binder containing the program and the accompanying lecture notes already pre-printed out, some great freebies including a set of orthotics, (sweets, don't tell Prof Brukner) and a quality notebook and pen. The attention to detail even included a name badge inside the bag in case people misplaced them.

The Venue of the Manchester Victoria & Albert Marriott hotel was an ideal one for me, being only a half hour train journey away. However, other people had come from far and wide, as far as Shetland and beyond; many were returning delegates who clearly knew the value of this high-quality event.

Day one morning
The speakers didn't disappoint, opening with a 25 year nostalgia trip of pictures through the ages of summer school with Dr Kevin Kirby, sharing his entertaining anecdotes along the way giving us a thoroughly joyous start to the day.

Prof Brukner then brought us down to earth talking about why we're getting fatter and sicker. He also discussed what we are going to do about it with the rising tidal wave of the ‘Diabesity epidemic’ and how podiatrists can positively influence lifestyle change to combat this scary statistic. This really resonated with me as a generalist podiatrist because it's an area I know I can have an impact on by doing some motivational interviewing with my patients. The next day he moved on to speak about inflammation, chronic disease and the role of diet in mediating inflammation. Thought-provoking stuff, especially his story of the cricketer with chronic knee pain who had lots of medical treatment and whose condition resolved with diet/nutrition intervention enabling him to play competitively again. Indeed Peter’s own chronic Achilles tendinopathy resolved after he started following the low carb higher fat diet.

Then we had Prof Nigg speaking about how the body works to minimise vibration impact through muscle tuning. His fascinating talk covered his work with Cirque du Soleil to unravel the mystery of the 25% increase in injury that they had encountered after changing the properties of their performance stage surface. On day 2 he moved onto talking about pronation, how we measure it, all the variables involved in it and literally “throwing a hand grenade into the biomechanics bunker” to quote Simon Bartolds take on it.

Following the two professors then, it was absolutely no challenge whatsoever for Trevor Prior to be the next to take the stage, discussing plantar heel pain and evidence-based treatments.

Fourth up was the mesmerising sports footwear legend; Simon Bartold; speaking about how athletic footwear as we know it is dead and how the rise of the “Machines” will enable bespoke footwear with inbuilt orthoses to be a commonplace reality within the next decade.

Emma Cowley had the graveyard shift of the morning to explain about gait analysis in the clinic; the parameters we need to know and how to measure them. I found her slide on SOAPIER and reverse engineering the assessment an interesting concept.

Day one afternoon
If you've been to summer school before you'll know that the afternoon session of day 1 comprises a series of fabulous workshops, each held with one of the keynote speakers so you can focus on a key topic close to their hearts, here's what they covered:

Prof Brukner How podiatrist can influence lifestyle and therefore health
Simon Bartold Dynamic athlete assessment and why it matters
Emma Cowley & Trevor Prior Gait analysis (with Nick Knight in his shorts, on the treadmill hooked up to a load of data capturing equipment!)


Dr. Kevin Kirby Easy and quick tissue stress foot orthoses modifications for the office (The king of semi compressed felt was in his element!)


I absolutely loved the afternoon session and it brought me immense value, but the great experience didn't stop there for after that we had 2 1/2 hours to prepare for that evening’s gala dinner which was exceptionally good. Drinks reception, lovely food, wine, live jazz music, dance floor, DJ and a photo booth with props, to boot. A good time was had by all until the wee hours of the morning, I left them to it at 1:30am as wanted to get the most out of the next day’s set of lectures. Lucky for me I'm good on 5 hours sleep!


Day two
The focus for day two was a little different than day one. Whilst we did have three main lectures; one each from both professors and another from Dr. Kevin Kirby on understanding the biomechanics and treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, there were 3 interactive sessions of panel discussion or debate on things like:

● The state of the nation with running footwear
● Foot orthoses research current problems and future directions;
● Running biomechanics and common injuries.
● Top tips and summary for clinical practice

All in all it was a fabulous 2 days I'm so glad I went to this 25th edition of the LBG Medical Biomechanics Summer School. I can't think when there will be another opportunity to see all these keynote speakers in the same room again in my lifetime, and I feel privileged to have been there.

Not only that, I was extremely impressed by the quality of the organisation of the event, the resources around it, the attention to detail in making sure that everybody had what they needed and had a good time. Above all else (as it's one of the things I love to do) we had lots of opportunities to engage with each other, meeting our Facebook colleagues and putting faces to those names. I feel that LBG Medical got the balance absolutely perfectly right, well they did for me anyway!

Download the official timetable for the Biomechanics Summer School 2024 outlining timings of all lectures and workshops.

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