From Pain to Performance™ 2016


A One Day International Sport & Exercise Medicine Symposium on Controversies and Contemporary Issues

Once again ‘From Pain to Performance’ delivered in every possible way. In the newly furbished surroundings of the London Heathrow Marriott hotel, this ‘One Day International Sport & Exercise Medicine Symposium on Controversies and Contemporary Issues’ enthralled a packed audience. We caught up with Professor Graham Smith to get his thoughts on the event.






Professor Karim Khan

Yet again you have come up with an incredible line-up of speakers – how did you put this group together?

The programme and title for this year’s From Pain to Performance Symposium started approximately 12months ago with a conversation between Professor Karim Khan and me. We were discussing the causes and advances in the treatment of hamstring injuries and how many of these were still quite controversial.  Karim was also exploring some of the on-going research in this area and was clearly enjoying it. We also talked about how he was enjoying exploring some of the on-going research in this area.

This was then followed very shortly afterwards by a conversation with Dr  Donald Shelbourne where he asked me, among other things, when was I going to invite him back to talk, as he was developing new concepts in knee surgery and rehabilitation, specific to total knee replacements.

The thought of having both eminent and highly respected practitioners on the programme, delivering some slightly controversial but current






Dr Donald Shelbourne
 concepts was an opportunity that was too good to miss. More importantly, I always enjoy being in their company both socially and professionally.

Kate Evans is quite a new name to the conference scene but clearly a rising star. Tell us how this came about?







Kate Evans
This next part of the jigsaw actually presented itself at the Society of Sports Therapists AGM + Seminar where Kate gave a fantastic presentation on some of the work that she had been undertaking in her role as Sports Therapist at Newport Gwent Dragons. Not only was this work practically relevant but Kate also had the data and research to support it and justify its success. I therefore felt that Kate had to be another member of the team.

Irish Rugby team physiotherapist James Allen had presented at From Pain to Performance before and he had clearly impressed. So what made you invite him back so soon?

Well, our paths had recently crossed at another conference at which we were both presenting and James addressed a topic that I felt just had to be included.  The presentation focused on Return to Play, which is not only an extremely current sport and exercise medicine discussion point, but is surrounded in controversy. As an extremely experienced practitioner working in elite rugby, James has a realistic perspective and he not only challenges some concepts, he justifies and supports them with the relevant evidence. Once again, James was another colleague who had to be included.






James Allen

The last presentation of the day is always different but fascinating and provides a great finale to the conference. Tony Strudwick proved to be an inspired choice – so why Tony?







Tony Strudwick
The final conference presentation is always one that I try to fill with someone who can give another perspective that Sport and Exercise Practitioners need but is delivered by someone who works alongside them in a performance role. Tony Strudwick was an ideal choice for this role not only because of his academic and scientific knowledge but also for the experience that he has gained from working in professional football for so long, including over nine years with Manchester United.

As someone who has had key responsibilities for  developing and monitoring performance during , in all probability, the most successful period in Manchester United’s history, Tony is obviously someone who knows what is required when we, the Sports Medicine practitioners, send our patients back to him saying they are fit to return. Therefore, I was extremely happy to have Tony completing the line-up and filling this role. I also knew that Tony can sometimes be controversial and this was something that appealed too.

So, looking back, what are your overall thoughts about From Pain to Performance 2016?

Reflecting on the programme and the day as a whole, I feel very proud and privileged to have had such a presentation team around me and judging by the comments that were being circulated on social media , their presentations were well received and enjoyed. This was probably the first From Pain to Performance conference where there has been so much social media activity as the conference was taking place and this certainly adds another dimension to it.







Professor Graham N. Smith
I must also thank the management and staff at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel for their continued support and commitment to the ‘From Pain to Performance’ conference. I know that the delegates leave both educationally and nutritionally full and I hope that it is the experience of, not only the academic content, but the venue itself, that ensures this. My thanks also go to all of the trade companies for their support; they are an integral part of the conference.

So what is your next challenge?

The challenge now is to prepare for ‘From Pain to Performance’ 2017. Provisional date for your diary – 20th May 2017.






Tom Cresswell

Prize draw winner

Tom Cresswell, Head of Physiotherapy at Hartpury College was the lucky winner of overnight accommodation at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel prior to the Conference. Tom, who is Sports Therapist to Great Britain Basketball was delighted when he heard the news. He said: “I was ecstatic to know that I would have a restful night sleep before a day of thorough brain activity.”


From Pain to Performance 2016

Conference Gallery