Prof. Karen McCreesh is a Physiotherapist with research interests in the area of musculoskeletal disorders and pain, and specific expertise in shoulder pain and tendon disorders. As a qualified musculoskeletal sonographer she also undertakes research in the area of ultrasound imaging. She is a Professor in Physiotherapy at the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. She has an extensive track record in musculoskeletal research, with a multitude of peer-reviewed publications in leading journals. 

She has been awarded over €1.5m in research funding and leads a team of 3 PhD and 1 post-doctoral researchers within the Ageing Research Cluster at the Health Research Institute at UL. 

When not working, she tries to practise what she preaches by growing vegetables and running.

Current projects include: Community-based exercise for chronic MSK pain; Designing knowledge transfer activities in shoulder pain; Digital health competencies in Physiotherapy; Examining the role of exercise for people with massive rotator cuff tears; Implementing best practices in managing degenerative knee conditions in primary care; Developing international clinical guidelines for shoulder pain.


Brady N, Dejaco B, Lewis J, McCreesh K, McVeigh JG. Physiotherapist beliefs and perspectives on virtual reality supported rehabilitation for the management of musculoskeletal shoulder pain: A focus group study. PLoS One. 2023;18(4):e0284445.


Fahy K, Galvin R, Lewis J, McCreesh K. Exercise is as effective as surgery in improving quality of life, disability, and pain for large to massive rotator cuff tears: A systematic review & meta-analysis. Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2022; 61:102597.


O'Neill A, O'Sullivan K, McCreesh K. Lower levels of physical activity are associated with pain progression in older adults: a longitudinal study. Eur J Pain. 2021 ;25(7):1462-1471. doi:


Maxwell C, Robinson K, McCreesh K. Understanding Shoulder Pain: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis Exploring the Patient Experience. Phys Ther. 2020 Dec 28:pzaa229


McCreesh K, Purtill H, Donnelly AE, Lewis, JS. Increased supraspinatus tendon thickness following fatigue loading in rotator cuff tendinopathy: potential implications for exercise therapy. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine.2017;  3 (1).