Assoc Professor Barbara Polus
Research & Innovation
PhD (Physiology), Monash University, (Australia), 1996
M.Sc. (Physiology) University of New England (Australia), 1987
B.App.Sc (Chiropractic), Phillip Institute of Technology (Australia), 1982
I have teaching responsibilities in both the undergraduate and postgraduate areas. My teaching responsibilities in the undergraduate chiropractic program lie in the area of somatosensory and muscle receptor physiology, fundamental pharmacological principles for complementary medicine students and critical thinking and principles of clinical research. I also teach neurophysiological models that may be used to explain the effects of the chiropractic adjustment and the subluxation.
At the postgraduate level, my teaching responsibilities include clinical research design and implementation, and principles of critical appraisal of clinical research and evidence-based clinical literature. I am also an accredited supervisor of research students. I am currently senior supervisor of 5 research students who are enrolled in PG by research degrees within the Department of Complementary Medicine.
I am leader of the Complementary Medicine Clinical Neuroscience Research Group. His group includes academic staff from both the Department of Complementary Medicine and School of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering and postgraduate students (currently numbering 6). The group is conducting research activities in three independent but related areas including the study of:
- changes in somatosensory inputs from the neck on limb motoneuron excitability
- autonomic regulation of cardiovascular function, and
- electromyographic studies of paraspinal muscles as a means of determining their functional status.
More information about the Clinical Neuroscience Research Group
Industry / profession / community involvement
- Deputy Chair, Research Committee, Australian Spinal Research Foundation
- Member Chiropractors Association of Australia
- Member, Chiropractors and Osteopaths College of Australasia
- International Society for Neuroscience for chiropractic. am currently regional representative (Australasia) and member of this society.
Research publications and presentations (most recent)
Refereed journal articles:
Walsh, MJ and Polus, BI (1999), ‘The frequency of positive common spinal clinical examination findings in a sample of premenstrual syndrome sufferers’, JMPT, 22(4): 216-20.
Walsh, MJ and Polus, BI. (1999), ‘A randomised placebo controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome’, JMPT, 22(9): 582-5.
Polus BI. (1999), ‘Function of supporting elements of the spine during trunk flexion’, JNMS, 7(4): 134-41.
Bub GA, Budgell BS, Henderson CNR, Injeyan HS, Kinsinger S, Moltz JH, Pickar JG, Polus BI, Song X and Vernon H (2001), ‘Neuroscience in the chiropractic curriculum’, JNMS, 9(3): 77-81.
Polus BI and Walsh MJ (2001). ‘The effect of longitudinal whole body rotation against a steady head on changes in lower motoneuron excitability - a study in humans’, JNMS, 9(3): 82-7.
Zhu, Xue Man and Polus BI (2002), ‘A controlled trial on acupuncture for chronic neck pain’, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 30(1): 13-28.
Conference Presentations (including refereed proceedings):
Polus, BI, Gregory, JE and Wood, S (1997), ‘The mechanism of phasic stretch reflex potentiation by the Jendrassik manoeuvre in humans’, International Union of Physiological Sciences Congress, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1997.
Wood, SA and Polus BI (1997), ‘On the mechanism of triceps surae tendon jerk reinforcement by the Jendrassik manoeuvre in human subjects’, Proceedings of the Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society, October 1997, Melbourne.
Walsh MJ and Polus B (1998), ‘A randomised placebo controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome’, Proceedings of the International conference on spinal manipulation, Vancouver, Canada, 16-19 July 1998.
Polus BI (1999), ‘The function of the supporting elements of the spine during trunk flexion’, World Federation Of Chiropractic Congress, Auckland, NZ, 20-22 May 1999.
Sturnieks D, Temple V, Walsh M and Polus BI (1999), ‘Reliability study of two force plates for the measurement of postural sway’, World Federation of Chiropractic Congress, Auckland, NZ, 20-22 May 1999.
Polus BI, Henry J and Walsh MJ (1998), ‘Dysmenorrhea: to treat or not to treat’, in DJ Lawrence (ed.), The Year Book of Chiropractic, Mosby, St. Louis, pp.304-5.
Polus BI and Walsh MJ (2000), ‘The impact of changes in proprioceptive input from the neck on lower limb motoneuron excitability’, Proceedings of the Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society, vol. 31(2): 109P.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2000), ‘The effect of latent myofascial trigger points in the scapular positioning muscles on the recruitment pattern of key shoulder girdle muscles during elevation of the arm in the plane of the scapula’, 3rd conference of the International Shoulder Group, a subgroup of the International Society of Biomechanics, UK, 4 September 2000.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2001), ‘Temporal Sequence of muscle recruitment during scapular plane elevation: a pilot study’, Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Melbourne, Australia, 19-20 February, 2001.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2001), ‘The effect of latent myofascial trigger points on the temporal sequence of muscle recruitment during scapular plane elevation: a pilot study’, Symposium of the International Society of Posture and Gait Research, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 23-27 June 2001.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2001), ‘The effects of latent myofascial trigger points in the scapular rotator muscles on the temporal sequence of muscle recruitment during loaded scapular plane elevation’, 18th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, Zurich, Switzerland, 8-13 July 2001.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2002), ‘Muscle activation patterns: the effect of fatigue during scapular plane elevation’, International Shoulder Group Meeting, Cleveland, USA, 16-18 June 2002.
Lucas KR, Polus BI and Rich PA (2002), ‘The effect of trigger point therapy on muscle recruitment around the scapula’, NESC, 21 November 2002.
Academic management / administration responsibilities
- Chair, Human Research Ethics Sub-committee
- Member, Human Research Ethics Committee
- Member, Faculty Higher Degrees Committee
- Member, Animal Chiropractic Advisory Committee
- Diagnostic Radiology Award, 1980
- Chiropractor of the Year (CAA Victoria branch), 1998