Associate Professor John Booth

Associate Professor John Booth

Adjunct Associate Professor
  • 2000 PhD.  The University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • 1991-1994 MExSc.The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia. 
  • 1986–1989 Bachelor of Health & Physical Education. The University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Medicine & Health
School of Health Sciences

John is a renowned Exercise Physiologist based on leadership in his profession as a clinician and clinical educator. His teaching, research and clinical practice is in exercise for musculoskeletal pain, with a special interest in chronic pain. He lead the development of musculoskeletal and workplace rehabilitation curriculum at UNSW that equips new graduates with the real-life skills required for professional practice.  

He has made significant contributrions to the exercise physiology profession over the last 2 decades through national committees, providing expert opinion, and the delivery of clinical education events including webinars, podcasts, and workshops. Since 2017 John has been a mentor for clincians in regional Australia as part of the Pain Revolution's vision that all Australians have access to the knowledge, skills and local support to overcome persistent pain. He was recognised as a fellow by Exercise and Sports Science Australia in 2020 for his contribution to the exercise physiology profession and community.

+61 2 9385 8710
Sydney, UNSW
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Ram A; Booth J; Thom JM; Gibbs MT; Jones MD, 2023, 'Are Improvements in Pain Neurophysiology Knowledge Following Pain Science Education Associated with Improved Outcomes in People with Chronic Pain?: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis', Clinical Journal of Pain, 39, pp. 41 - 52,
    Journal articles | 2023
    Ram AK; Summers SJ; Booth J; Gibbs MT; Jones MD, 2023, 'Higher intensity exercise reduces disability more than lower intensity exercise in adults with chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Musculoskeletal Care,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Cashin AG; Booth J; McAuley JH; Jones MD; Hübscher M; Traeger AC; Fried K; Moseley GL, 2022, 'Making exercise count: Considerations for the role of exercise in back pain treatment', Musculoskeletal Care, 20, pp. 259 - 270,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Jones MD; Cashin AG; Mouatt B; McLeod KA; Mundell NL; McAuley JH; Booth J, 2022, 'A survey evaluation comparing pain curriculum taught in Australian exercise physiology degrees to graduate perceptions of their preparedness and competency to treat people with chronic pain', Musculoskeletal Care, 20, pp. 299 - 306,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Leake HB; Mardon A; Stanton TR; Harvie DS; Butler DS; Karran EL; Wilson D; Booth J; Barker T; Wood P; Fried K; Hayes C; Taylor L; Macoun M; Simister A; Moseley GL; Berryman C, 2022, 'Key Learning Statements for Persistent Pain Education: An Iterative Analysis of Consumer, Clinician and Researcher Perspectives and Development of Public Messaging', Journal of Pain, 23, pp. 1989 - 2001,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Ram A; Booth J; Thom JM; Jones MD, 2022, 'Exercise physiologists use of pain neuroscience education for treating knee osteoarthritis: A qualitative interview study', Musculoskeletal Care, 20, pp. 821 - 830,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Siddall B; Ram A; Jones MD; Booth J; Perriman D; Summers SJ, 2022, 'Short-term impact of combining pain neuroscience education with exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Pain, 163, pp. E20 - E30,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Booth J; Moseley GL; Schiltenwolf M; Cashin A; Davies M; Hübscher M; Demoulin C, 2020, 'Exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A biopsychosocial approach', Kinesitherapie, 20, pp. 78 - 88,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Burrows NJ; Barry BK; Sturnieks DL; Booth J; Jones MD, 2020, 'The Relationship between Daily Physical Activity and Pain in Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis', Pain Medicine (United States), 21, pp. 2481 - 2495,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Cashin AG; Lee H; Bagg MK; O'Hagan E; Traeger AC; Kamper SJ; Folly T; Jones MD; Booth J; McAuley JH, 2020, 'A systematic review highlights the need to improve the quality and applicability of trials of physical therapy interventions for low back pain', Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 126, pp. 106 - 115,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Ram A; Booth J; Thom J; Jones MD, 2020, 'Exercise and education for knee osteoarthritis—What are accredited exercise physiologists providing?', Musculoskeletal Care, 18, pp. 425 - 433,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Wewege MA; Booth J; Parmenter BJ, 2018, 'Aerobic vs. resistance exercise for chronic non-specific low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis', Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 31, pp. 889 - 899,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Booth J; Moseley GL; Schiltenwolf M; Cashin A; Davies M; Hübscher M, 2017, 'Exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A biopsychosocial approach', Musculoskeletal Care, 15, pp. 413 - 421,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Jones MD; Valenzuela T; Booth J; Taylor JL; Barry BK, 2017, 'Explicit Education About Exercise-Induced Hypoalgesia Influences Pain Responses to Acute Exercise in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial', Journal of Pain, 18, pp. 1409 - 1416,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Jones MD; Booth J; Taylor JL; Barry BK, 2016, 'Limited association between aerobic fitness and pain in healthy individuals: A cross-sectional study', Pain Medicine (United States), 17, pp. 1799 - 1808,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Jones MD; Taylor JL; Booth J; Barry BK, 2016, 'Exploring the mechanisms of exercise-induced hypoalgesia using somatosensory and laser evoked potentials', Frontiers in Physiology, 7,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Burrows N; Sturnieks D; Booth J; Barry B, 2015, 'The Relationship Between Daily Physical Activity And Pain In Individuals With Knee Osteoarthritis', Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 47, pp. 363 - 363,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Hübscher M; Tu S; Stanton T; Moseley GL; Wand BM; Booth J; McAuley JH, 2015, 'Movement restriction does not modulate sensory and perceptual effects of exercise-induced arm pain', European Journal of Applied Physiology, 115, pp. 1047 - 1055,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Booth J, 2014, 'Approach to low back pain - Exercise physiology', Australian Family Physician, 43, pp. 795 - 796
    Journal articles | 2014
    Burrows NJ; Booth J; Sturnieks DL; Barry BK, 2014, 'Acute resistance exercise and pressure pain sensitivity in knee osteoarthritis: a randomised crossover trial', Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 22, pp. 407 - 414,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Jones M; Booth J; Taylor JL; Barry BK, 2014, 'Aerobic training increases pain tolerance in healthy individuals', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46, pp. 1640 - 1647,
    Journal articles | 2010
    Booth J, 2010, 'Exercise in Musculoskeletal Pain Management', Pain Management in General Practice, 1, pp. 10 - 10,;dn=110880107381434;res=IELHEA
    Journal articles | 2007
    Deur C; Agrawal AK; Baum H; Booth J; Bove S; Brieland J; Bunker A; Connolly C; Cornicelli J; Dumin JA; Finzel B; Gan X; Guppy S; Kamilar G; Kilgore K; Lee P; Loi CM; Lou Z; Morris M; Philippe L; Przybranowski S; Riley F; Samas B; Sanchez B; Tecle H; Wang Z; Welch K; Wilson M; Yates K, 2007, 'N-(6,7-Dichloro-2,3-dioxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoxalin-5-yl)-N-alkylsulfonamides as peripherally restricted N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonists for the treatment of pain', Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 17, pp. 4599 - 4603,
    Journal articles | 2001
    Booth J; Wilsmore BR; Macdonald AD; Zeyl A; McGhee S; Calvert D; Marino FE; Storlien LH; Taylor NAS, 2001, 'Whole-body pre-cooling does not alter human muscle metabolism during sub-maximal exercise in the heat', European Journal of Applied Physiology, 84, pp. 587 - 590,
    Journal articles | 2000
    Harmer AR; McKenna MJ; Sutton JR; Snow RJ; Ruell PA; Booth J; Thompson MW; Mackay NA; Stathis CG; Crameri RM; Carey MF; Eager DM, 2000, 'Skeletal muscle metabolic and ionic adaptations during intense exercise following sprint training in humans', Journal of Applied Physiology, 89, pp. 1793 - 1803,
    Journal articles | 1999
    Booth J; Marino F; Hill C; Gwinn T, 1999, 'Energy cost of sport rock climbing in elite performers', British Journal of Sports Medicine, 33, pp. 14 - 18,
    Journal articles | 1998
    Marino F; Booth J, 1998, 'Whole body cooling by immersion in water at moderate temperatures', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 1, pp. 73 - 81,
    Journal articles | 1997
    Booth J; Marino F; Ward JJ, 1997, 'Improved running performance in hot humid conditions following whole body precooling', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29, pp. 943 - 949,
    Journal articles | 1997
    Booth J; McKenna MJ; Ruell PA; Gwinn TH; Davis GM; Thompson MW; Harmer AR; Hunter SK; Sutton JR, 1997, 'Impaired calcium pump function does not slow relaxation in human skeletal muscle after prolonged exercise', Journal of Applied Physiology, 83, pp. 511 - 521,
    Journal articles | 1995
    Ruell PA; Booth J; McKenna MJ; Sutton JR, 1995, 'Measurement of sarcoplasmic reticulum function in mammalian skeletal muscle: Technical aspects', Analytical Biochemistry, 228, pp. 194 - 201,
  • Conference Papers | 2015
    Jones M; Booth J; Taylor JL; Barry BK, 2015, 'Exploring The Mechanisms Of Exercise-induced Hypoalgesia Using Somatosensory Evoked Potentials', in MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, pp. CP544 - CP544,
    Conference Papers | 2013
    Burrows NJ; John B; Sturnieks D; Barry BK, 2013, 'The Effect Of A Single Bout Of Resistance Exercise On Pain Sensitivity In Knee Osteoarthritis', in MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, IN, Indianapolis, pp. 647 - 647, presented at 60th Annual Meeting of the American-College-of-Sports-Medicine, IN, Indianapolis, 28 May 2013 - 01 June 2013,
    Conference Papers | 2013
    Jones M; Booth J; Taylor J; Barry B, 2013, 'Aerobic Exercise Training Increases Pain Tolerance In Healthy Individuals', in MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, IN, Indianapolis, pp. 197 - 197, presented at 60th Annual Meeting of the American-College-of-Sports-Medicine, IN, Indianapolis, 28 May 2013 - 01 June 2013,
    Conference Papers | 2005
    Booth J; Day J, 2005, '11:1810. Functional restoration following lumbar disc replacement: effect of pre and post exercise treatment', in The Spine Journal, Elsevier BV, pp. S5 - S5,
    Conference Papers | 2004
    Booth JD; Wilsmore BR; MacDonald AD; Zeyl A; Storlien LH; Taylor NAS, 2004, 'Intramuscular temperatures during exercise in the heat following pre-cooling and pre-heating', in Journal of Thermal Biology, pp. 709 - 715,

  • 2019 - Tom Penrose Community Service grant, Exercise and Sports Science Australia. 
  • 2016 - Major research equipment and infrastructure initiative (MREII). 
  • 2017 The Sydney partnership for health, education, research and enterprise (SPHERE) - 4 year study for community-based study on OA treatment and management

  • 2020 Fellow membership to the Australian Exercise and Sports Association 
  • 2019 UNSW Medicine Education Team Award for Educational Excellence in Educational Design or Development
  • 2019 UNSW School of Medical Sciences SOMS Teacher of the Year award

While exercise is first line treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain, there is considerable uncertainty about the optimal exercise type and dose. The focus of John's research is concerned with identifying the optimal approach concerning exercise prescription for chronic musculoskeletal pain. His current research includes understanding and improving the education that clinicians are delivering during exercise treatment for musculoskeletal pain. 

John led an international group of clinicians and pain scientists in authoring a clinical practice paper to guide exercise professionals designing and delivering exercise interventions for chronic musculoskeletal pain. This paper was the first to provide clear and practical guidelines for the delivery of evidence-based exercise interventions that align with contemporary pain rehabilitation practices. The paper generated significant interest internationally, with translation to French in 2020.

Through practicum supervision over the previous 10 years, John has has supported and helped develop the clinical knowledge and skills of many UNSW students. He also mentored early career Exercise Physiologists many of who are now making significant contributions to the exercise physiology profession. He has also helps foster the pain management skills of clincians in regional Australia as a mentor for the Pain Revolution. 

John frequently develops and convenes professional development opportunites for Exercise Physiologists and other health professions concerning exercise for the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain. He also regularly contributes information on exercise and the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain to the community through media and outreach events. 

My Research Supervision

PhD. School of Medical Sciences, UNSW. The use of pain neuroscience education and exercise in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain

PhD. Prince of Wales Hospital, UNSW. Mediators  of healthcare use in relation to chronic low back pain


My Teaching

John is in the unique position of being able to draw on 20 years of clinical and industry experience as a practicing Exercise Physiologist, to develop contemporary curriculum in musculoskeletal rehabiliation and occupational rehabiliation that is highly relevant to a rapidly evolving workplace. His primary area of interest is the assessment and treatment of chronic musulosketetal pain. He places considerable emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving through student-centred learning modalities including flipped classes, case study tutorials, team-based learning and interactive online learning activities. His teaching approach is to design and deliver innovative, relevant, and engaging curriculum that motivates, engages, and equips students with practical skills and confidence in preparation for professional practice.John has a strong interest in developing exercise as medicine curriculum in undergraduate medicine at UNSW and inter-professional teaching with exercise physiology and other health professions.