Professor Peter McNair

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Professor of Physiotherapy

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 7143


Postal Address:

Department of Physiotherapy, A-11
School of Clinical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
AUT University, Private Bag 92006,
Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Google scholar:


  • PhD (Biomechanics)
  • MPhEd (Distn) Biomechanics
  • Dipl Physiotherapy
  • Dipl Physical Education

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • New Zealand Registered Physiotherapist
  • Research Group Leader, Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT


Across his academic career, Peter has published over 180 peer reviewed journal papers in the fields of orthopaedics, rehabilitation, biomechanics and rheumatology.  He has been an invited speaker in these areas at numerous international conferences and he has international collaborations with research groups in Australia, France, Belgium, Denmark and Canada.  Peter has had Editorial and Advisory Board roles on five international journals in areas related to biomechanics and rehabilitation. He is a past Chair of the Research Committee of the International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy, and was inaugural Chair of the Academic Board of the New Zealand College of Physiotherapy.

Peter has engaged in consultancy/committee work with the NZ government and several industry partners, including the Ministry of Health, Accident Compensation Corporation, Physiotherapy New Zealand, Department of Labour, Royal New Zealand Airforce, District Health Boards and the Health Research Council.

At AUT, Peter established the Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, and was its Director until 2016.  The institute undertakes innovative research that integrates the physical and psychosocial dimensions of rehabilitation with the goal of enhancing activities of daily living, work and sports - particularly in patients with musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Peter now leads a research group within the Institute focused upon areas related to pain and clinical biomechanics primarily in musculo-skeletal disorders.

Peter teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in clinical biomechanics, functional anatomy, and exercise physiology related to rehabilitation. He has supervised over 40 Masters and Doctoral thesis students (including international co-supervisions with universities in France, Belgium and Australia) to completion.

Teaching Areas:

  • Biomechanics
  • Functional anatomy
  • Exercise Rehabilitation
  • Research methods

Research Areas:

  • Clinical biomechanics
  • Orthopaedics and sports medicine
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Pain mechanisms
  • Risk factors and management

Current Research Projects:

  • Biomechanical changes in gait in (1) knee joint replacement, (2) treatment for clubfeet, (3) idiopathic toe walkers (4) children with cerebral palsy  (5) gout.
  • Biomechanical changes in the Achilles tendon following rupture
  • Biomechanical changes in the patella tendon after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • Exercise rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • Force appreciation and control following joint injuries
  • Neuromuscular dysfunction and its effects on muscle activation and forces during gait activities with ACL deficient knees
  • Biomechanical features of different sutures for hand tendon injuries
  • Resistance training in hand osteoarthritis
  • Use of high dose steroids to reduce postoperative delirium after hip fracture repair
  • Activity monitoring following hip fracture in the elderly
  • Antidepressants for osteoarthritis pain
  • Structural and functional brain changes with persistent postoperative pain
  • Postoperative dizziness following major surgery
  • Risk factors for continued pain following knee joint replacement
  • Effects of exercise to reduce pain in chronic pain conditions


Papers published: 2019-2013

  • Le Sant G, Nordez A, Hug F, Andrade R, Lecharte T, McNair PJ, Gross R. Effects of stroke injury on the shear modulus of the lower leg muscle during passive dorsiflexion.  J Appl Physiol 2019;126(1):11-22.
  • Skarin MU, Rice DA, McNair PJ, Kluger MT. Orthostatic intolerance following hip arthroplasty: incidence, risk factors and effect on length of stay: A prospective cohort study. Eur J Anaesthesiol 2019; 36(2):123-129.
  • Lewis GN, Rice DA, Kluger M, McNair PJ. Transcranial direct current stimulation for upper limb neuropathic pain: A double-blind randomised controlled trial.  Eur J Pain 2018. Aug;22(7):1312-1320.
  • Andrade RJ, Freitas SR, Hug F, Le Sant G, Lacourpaille L, Gross R, McNair P, Nordez A. (2018) The potential role of sciatic nerve stiffness in the limitation of maximal ankle range of motion.  Sci Rep 2018; 28;8(1):14532.
  • Lewis GN, Parker RS, Sharma S, Rice DA, McNair PJ. (2018) Structural Brain Alterations Before and After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Longitudinal Assessment. Pain Med. Nov 1;19(11):2166-2176
  • Rice DA, Kluger MT, McNair PJ, Lewis GN, Somogyi AA, Borotkanics R, Barratt DT, Walker M.  Persistent postoperative pain after total knee arthroplasty: a prospective cohort study of potential risk factors.  Br J Anaesth. 2018 Oct;121(4):804-812.
  • McNair PJ, Boocock MG, Dominick ND, Kelly RJ, Farrington BJ, Young SW. A Comparison of Walking Gait Following Mechanical and Kinematic Alignment in Total Knee Joint Replacement.  J Arthroplasty 2018 33(2):560-564
  • Magni, N., McNair, P., Rice D. The effects of resistance training on muscle strength, joint pain, and hand function in individuals with hand osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arthritis Res and Therapy 2017; 13;19(1):131
  • Burri A, Hilpert P, McNair P, Williams FM. Exploring symptoms of somatization in chronic widespread pain: latent class analysis and the role of personality. J Pain Res 2017; 10:1733-1740
  • Magni, N., McNair, P., Rice D. . Sensorimotor performance and function in people with osteoarthritis of the hand: A case-control comparison. Sem Arthritis and Rheum 2017; 47(5):676-682
  • Parker, R., Lewis, G.N., Rice, D.A., McNair P.J. The association between corticomotor excitability and motor skill learning in people with painful hand arthritis. Clinical J Pain 2017, 33(3), 222-230.
  • Frecklington M, Dalbeth N, McNair P, Gow P, Williams A, Carroll M, Rome K. (2017) Footwear interventions for foot pain, function, impairment and disability for people with foot and ankle arthritis: A literature review.  Seminars in Arthritis Rheum. Jun;47(6):814-824.
  • Nordez, A., Gross, R., Andrade, R., Le Sant, G., Freita, S., Ellis, R., McNair, P. and Hug, F. Non-muscular structures can limit the maximal joint range of motion during stretching. Sports Medicine 2017 47(10):1925-1929.
  • Konishi Y, McNair PJ, Rice DA.  TENS Alleviates Muscle Weakness Attributable to Attenuation of Ia Afferents.  Int J Sports Med. 2017. 38(3):253-257. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-118183.
  • Cadogan A, McNair PJ, Laslett M, Hing WA. Diagnostic Accuracy of Clinical Examination and Imaging Findings for Identifying subacromial Pain.  PLoS One. 2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0167738.
  • Rice DA, Parker RS, Lewis GN, Kluger MT, McNair PJ. Pain Catastrophizing is not associated with Spinal Nociceptive Processing in People with Chronic Widespread Pain.  Clin J Pain 2016 33(9):804-810.
  • Parker RS, Lewis GN, Rice DA, McNair PJ.  Is Motor Cortical Excitability Altered in People with Chronic Pain? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.  Brain Stim 2016; 9(4):488-500.
  • Javaid Z, Unsworth CP, Boocock M, McNair P Contour interpolated radial basis functions with spline boundary correction for fast 3D reconstruction of the human articular cartilage from MR images. Med Phys 2016; 43, 43(3):1187-99.
  • Kluger MT, Lewis G, Rice D, McNair P. Psychological rather than pharmacological interventions for effective prevention of pain after knee joint replacement?  Br J Anaesth 2016 Jan;116(1):150.
  • Andrade RJ, Lacourpaille L, Freitas SR, McNair PJ, Nordez A. Effects of hip and head position on ankle range of motion, ankle passive torque, and passive gastrocnemius tension. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 26(1):41-7.
  • Rice DA, McNair PJ, Lewis GN, Dalbeth N.  The effects of joint aspiration and intra-articular corticosteroid injection on flexion reflex excitability, quadriceps strength and pain in individuals with knee synovitis: a prospective observational study.  Arthritis Res Ther 2015; Jul 28;17:191.
  • Rice DA, Graven-Nielsen T, Lewis GN, McNair PJ, Dalbeth N. The effects of experimental knee pain on lower limb corticospinal and motor cortex excitability. Arthritis Res Ther 2015 Aug 12;17:204.
  • Rice DA, McNair PJ, Lewis GN, Mannion J. Experimental knee pain impairs submaximal force steadiness in isometric, eccentric, and concentric muscle actions. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Sep 12;17:259. doi: 10.1186/s13075-015-0768-1.
  • White SG, McNair P, Laslett M, Hing W. Do patients undergoing physical testing report pain intensity reliably?  Arthritis Care & Research 2015;  67(6):873-9.
  • Lewis GN, Rice DA, McNair PJ, Kluger M.  Predictors of persistent pain following total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2015; 14(4):551-561.
  • Lewis GN, Leys A, Rice DA, McNair PJ. Subconscious manipulation of pain expectation can modulate cortical nociceptive processing. Pain Practice 2015; 15(2):117-23,
  • Rice DA, McNair PJ, Lewis GN, Dalbeth N. Quadriceps arthrogenic muscle inhibition: The effects of experimental knee joint effusion on motor cortex excitability. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2014. 16(502): doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0502-4.
  • Javaid Z, Unsworth CP, Boocock M, McNair P. Fast detection & modelling of the real osteoarthritic holes in the human knee with contour interpolated radial basis functions.  IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2014; Aug:2348-51.
  • Laslett M, Steele M, Hing W, McNair P, Cadogan A. Shoulder pain in primary care - Part 2: Predictors of clinical outcome to 12 months.  J Rehabil Medicine 2014. 47(1), 66-71.
  • Laslett M, Steele M, Hing W, McNair P, Cadogan A. Shoulder pain patients in primary care - Part 1: Clinical outcomes over 12 months following standardized diagnostic workup, corticosteroid injections, and community-based care.  J Rehabilitation Medicine. 2014; 46(9), 898-907.
  • Stott NS, Reynolds N, McNair P.  Level Versus Inclined Walking: Ambulatory Compensations in Children With Cerebral Palsy Under Outdoor Conditions: Ambulatory Compensations in Children With Cerebral Palsy Under Outdoor Conditions. Pediatric Physical Therapy 2014 26(4), 428-35.
  • Stewart S, Rome K, Stewart S, Vandal AC, Gow P, McNair P, Dalbeth N.  The effect of good and poor walking shoe characteristics on plantar pressure and gait in people with gout. Clinical Biomechanics 2014, 29:1158-63
  • Young S, Patel A, Zhu M, van Dijck S, McNair P, Bevan W, Tomlinson M.  Weight bearing in the non operative treatment of acute Achilles tendon ruptures- a randomised controlled trial.  J Bone and Joint Surgery 2014; 96(13), 1073-79.
  • Cadogan, A., McNair, P., Laslett, M., Hing, W., & Taylor, S. Diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination features for identifying large rotator cuff tears in primary health care. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy 2013, 21(3), 148-159.
  • Rome K, Stewart S, Vandal AC, Gow P, McNair P, Dalbeth N. The effects of commercially available footwear on foot pain and disability in people with gout: a pilot study.  BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Sep 24;14:278. 2013
  • Marshall, RN., & McNair, PJ. Biomechanical risk factors and mechanisms of knee injury in golfers. Sports Biomechanics 2013; 12(3), 221-230.
  • McNair P, Nordez A, Olds M, Young SW, Cornu C. Biomechanical properties of the plantar flexor muscle-tendon complex 6 months post-rupture of the achilles tendon. J Orthopaedic Research 2013;31(9):1469-74
  • Cadogan A, McNair P, Laslett M and Hing W. Shoulder pain in primary care. Diagnostic accuracy of clinical examination tests for non-traumatic acromioclavicular joint pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013; 1;14:156.
  • McKay C, Prapavessis H and McNair P. Comparing the Lower Limb Tasks Questionnaire to the WOMAC: Agreement, responsiveness, and convergence with physical performance for knee osteoarthritis patients.  Arch Phys Med Rehab 2013; 94(3):474-9.
  • McNair, PJ.  Invited review.  The growing cause of disability following limb injuries.  New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 2013; 41(1):20-22


  • Visiting Professor: University of Nantes, France 2018
  • AUT Vice Chancellors Award for Sustained Individual Research Excellence 2017
  • Visiting Professor Award to the Chinese Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan 2013
  • AUT Vice Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence; emerging research team. Lewis, Rice, McNair. Auckland, New Zealand 2013
  • Visiting Professor Award to the University of Western Ontario, Canada 2010
  • Basmajian Award: Rice, McNair, and Lewis. XVIII World Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology, Aalborg, Denmark 2010
  • Best Paper Award: Larmer, McNair Smythe & Williams. 4th International Ankle Symposium Sydney, Australia  2009
  • Prix de la Societie de Biomechanique. Nordez, Casari, McNair, Cornu. French Society of Biomechanics 2008
  • Achilles Award. The International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine 2007
  • Visiting Research Fellow Australian Institute of Sport 2006-7
  • Best PhD Thesis, Faculty of Science, University of Auckland D.J. Hewson.Co-supervision: Marshall & McNair 2000
  • Australian Sports Medicine Federation: Order of Fellows Best Research Paper in Clinical Science 1994
  • Australian Sports Medicine Federation: Order of Fellows Best Research Paper 1992
  • International Society of Biomechanics: Clinical Biomechanics Award 1991
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